Rishabh Pant hit a marvelous 159* on day two of the fourth Test at SCG and added 204 runs with Ravindra Jadeja to help India post 622/7d to put his team in the driver’s seat in the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Pant became the first Indian keeper on Australian soil to hit a hundred, first to score a century outside the Indian subcontinent, second youngest Indian to score a Test century in Australia after Sachin Tendulkar.
When asked if anything changed as he was getting out in 20’s and 30’s, Pant replied: “I don’t think anything changed from my side. The main thing was that I was playing with a batsman (Jadeja) this time. Most of the time, when I got a start, I was playing with the tail.”
“If I am batting with the tail, I have to think differently because most of the time, I have to score the runs. But when you are batting with a batsman, that’s a different thing. You have seen it today,” Pant said on his superb 159 off 189 balls.
Pant also felt that the presence of Ravindra Jadeja helped him overcome the “nervous 90’s syndrome” during his innings.
“To be honest, I was a little nervous, because in India when we were playing West Indies, in the last two innings, I got out on 92 and 92. So I was scared slightly but I got through that phase quickly,” Pant said.
“The best part of my batting is that everyone in the team has given me the freedom to express myself. Every time when I go to bat, I just enjoy myself, that’s the only thing I love to do,” said Pant.
When asked to compare his two Test centuries, Pant said, “Every hundred I score in international cricket is special for me because I have just started my career. But the main thing is that I don’t think about hundreds. I just always think about only one thing - what the team needs from me. That’s the only goal I have.”
“Obviously, you can learn from anyone when you are going through a bad phase. It’s a learning process when you are playing cricket. Till such time that you are playing cricket, the learning process continues. If you use that experience and implement in the match, then the performances flow and you get out of the hard phase,” he said.
On being asked about dropping Usman Khawaja off Mohd. Shami, Pant said, “As a wicketkeeper, we look forward to only one thing - to be positive because this is not a one-ball game. You have to be on the field till you get the opposition out. So you have to be positive because if the next chance comes and you don’t grab that, your morale will go down even more I guess. So you have to positive all the time.”
(inputs of PTI)