India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara has opined that Rishabh Pant had to go for the win in the fourth Test match against Australia at the Gabba as he was always going to play his natural attacking game.
India had to chase an improbable total of 328 runs and when Pant came to the crease, they still had to score another 161 runs.
Pant took his time in the initial stage and then batted fearlessly to come up with one of the best knocks of his career. The 23-year old youngster showed no signs of panic as he played the relentless Australian bowling attack with aplomb.
The southpaw took the attack against the opposition bowlers and there was no stopping him when he found his momentum. Pant finished the series as the highest run-getter for the tourists as he scored 274 runs at an average of 68.50 in three Test matches. The pugnacious batsman showed that he can deliver the goods with the bat in pressure situations.
In fact, Pant had also scored a fine knock of 97 runs in the second innings of the Sydney Test match and thus he had the confidence under his belt. Thus, he had played a key role in helping the team in saving that match.
Pujara revealed that he didn’t expect Pant to score at such a rapid pace and told him to be cautious when he was in the 90s but the left-hander got out.
“I honestly didn’t think that he would be able to score at such a pace and the flow that he was getting on that particular day. I didn’t have to say anything to him because, naturally, he was hitting the ball out of the park,” Pujara said at the BBC Test Match Special.
“The only time when I talked to him was when he was in the 90s. I told him that you have to be a little careful and that’s when he got out,” he added.
Pant continued his good form in Gabba Test and scored a match winning knock to create history for the visitors.
“The last Test match at the Gabba. I truly believed that it was a good pitch. So we could at least draw the game. The way Shubman started playing after lunch gave us a lot of confidence. And I also got a lot of confidence from it,” Pujara said.
“I started playing a lot of shots in the second session. When Rishabh came in, we knew that he was in form. He knows his game, he knows that he can’t go for a draw, he had to go for a victory,” Pujara signed off.