‘He’s been brilliant and that's why we back him’, Ravi Shastri hails Rishabh Pant’s match-winning knock in Brisbane Test
Rishabh Pant’s journey in Australia Tests began with getting criticized for his poor shot selection and sloppy wicketkeeping. But he worked hard to improve his performance gradually and emerged as an ‘ultimate match-winner’ at the end of the tour.
The youngster from Delhi held his nerves on the final day of the Brisbane Test and lead India to a historic three-wicket win at The Gabba. After his scintillating knock helped India to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, team’s head coach Ravi Shastri eulogized Pant and revealed why the latter gets continuously backed by the management.
“We play Pant abroad because he is a match-winner. When he doesn't keep well, people criticize him but he can help you win matches like these. Had he stuck around for some time in Sydney (drawn third Test), he could have won us that game as well. He has been brilliant and that's why we back him,” Shastri told Sony Sports Network after India lifted the trophy at the Gabba.
The coach was effusive in his praise for the entire group which showed tremendous character to bounce back after the humiliation in Adelaide, especially when then side missed stalwarts like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
“The boys have performed so well that I am lost for words. The character of this team is amazing especially after the 36 all out at Adelaide," he said.
“This team wasn't built overnight. Virat has been with us despite not being here. His intensity rubbed on to everyone else. (Ajinkya) Rahane might look calm but he is a strong man from inside. A tough character,” he added.
Shastri also lauded the efforts of newcomers like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan for their contributions in the historic series win.
“Washington Sundar was a net bowler, Natarajan was a net bowler. But they have played so well. Sundar batted as if he had already played 20 Tests. Same with Shardul who has played a lot of first-class cricket but did well at the top level,” he said.
Shastri termed the series win as one of the most memorable ones, which the cricketing world will remember for a long time.
“This is a big series win. I don't think the cricketing world will forget this. Some of us were in a lockdown for some six months whereas cricket had started in some other part of the world.
“To come here and play the way we have despite having our main bowlers injured, is phenomenal. The players know when they cross the boundary line, they are playing for India,” he said.
(With PTI Inputs)
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- Farokh Engineer’s opinion about Rishabh Pant and his wicketkeeping has changed drastically today, with the former India gloveman expressing delight over how far the 23-year-old has come as a keeper.
- PCB CEO Wasim Khan also said that it looks like India will reach the finals of the WTC, so the Asia Cup needs to be postponed.
- Chappell blamed England's execution against India's spinners as the main reason behind their collapse.
- With as many as 28 of the 30 wickets to fall to spin, it can get difficult to judge one ball that stood out in the match.