‘Had he batted a bit longer, India could have won the Test match’, Gambhir lauds Pant for keeping India alive in Sydney
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir praised wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for his scintillating 97-run knock in the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Pant, who was nursing a bruised elbow, took the Aussies by surprise on the final day of the third Test when India were chasing a mammoth 407-run target. He came to bat at No 5, ahead of Hanuma Vihari, and displayed immense grit and courage against the Australian bowling attack.
Pant’s innings, which included 3 sixes and 12 fours, gave India a fair shot at victory. Had it not been the injuries of Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin, the visitors would’ve made it 2-1 in the series.
Impressed with his batting show, Gambhir said that Pant played a major role in keeping the tourists alive in the game.
“Rishabh Pant batted really well. Obviously, he batted the way he should've batted and he backed his strengths and he lived by the sword and you die by it. Yes, people might just say that there was no need to play that shot, but he kept playing and kept India in the game,” Gambhir said on Star Sports' Cricket Connected show.
“Had he batted a bit more longer India could have actually gone on to win the Test match, which probably would have been the most historic win ever,” he added.
Gambhir also lauded the efforts of Cheteshwar Pujara who faced criticism for his scoring rate. The cricketer-turned-politician said that Pujara is one of those batsmen who can actually ‘play time and session’.
“When we talk about Cheteshwar Pujara, you can talk as much as you can and as much as you want about his strike-rate, but there are very few batters going around in world cricket who can actually play time and session and he's one of them. One might just think that you are only been able to draw the Test match, but these kinds of draws are probably as big as winning in Australia,” Gambhir said.
Pujara faced 205 balls in the fourth innings for his 77-run knock. After his dismissal, Vihari and Ashwin combined to pull off the historic draw at the SCG.
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