'That was more heart-breaking than missing a hundred': Rishabh Pant on his dismissal for 97 in Sydney
- In the fourth innings of the third Test, with India needing 407 to win, Rishabh Pant scored a brilliant counter-attacking 97, which saw him take the attack to Australia's premier spinner Nathan Lyon
India batsman Rishabh Pant has admitted that although he was disappointed at missing out on a century against Australia in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the bigger disappointment was to miss out on the opportunity of winning the match for his country. In the fourth innings of the third Test, with India needing 407 to win, Pant scored a brilliant counter-attacking 97, which saw him take the attack to off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
After losing Shubman Gill overnight and Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane early on Day 5, Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara stitched a 148-run partnership for the fourth wicket to give India a chance to go for the kill. However, Pant was dismissed three runs short of what would have been his third Test century, and once Hanuma Vihari injured his hamstring, India started batting for draw.
"I was feeling bad not because of missing a century, but because I was thinking about the match. We had the game in our grasp. Pujji bhai (Cheteshwar Pujara) and I were playing, and winning the match would have been different. That was more heart-breaking for me than missing a hundred," Pant told 'The Week' magazine in an interview.
Hence, when Pant found himself in a similar situation in the next Test at the Gabba, the 23-year-old ensured he got the job done this time around. Requiring 324 to win on the final day, the fact that Gill provided a fantastic start to the team, India began harbouring hopes of a win. The platform which Gill built through his innings of 91, Pant capitalised on it, remaining unbeaten on 89 and getting India to one of their famous Test wins of all time.
"The plan was to play normal cricket, to let the game unfold and then see what happens. I was not thinking too much about winning, but it was there at the back of my mind. I did not try to do too many different things, and gave myself time to stay at the crease," Pant added.