Saturday, May 18, 2024

‘He knew he had to go for victory’: Cheteshwar Pujara recalls Rishabh Pant’s heroics in Australia

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India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara got the best seat in the house to view Rishabh Pant’s heroics in Australia. The right-handed batsman was on the ground with Pant when he was in the middle of pulling off a heist in Sydney in the third match. But while Pant was unable to take India to a win, he certainly set up the stage for the Indian tailenders to push the match to a draw.

In a recent conversation on BBC’s Test Match Special, Pujara recalled the words he spoke to Pant during the innings in Sydney, in which the left-hander scored a brisk 97 runs on the final day in the 406-run chase.

“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.

“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’s heroics were far from over. He went on to smash an unbeaten 89 runs as India chased down the total of 329 on the final day of the fourth Test at Gabba to win the series 2-1. Pujara said that Pant knew he had no choice but to go for a win after he and Shubman Gill had set the platform up in the chase.

“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 off 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 knew that he can’t go for a draw, he had to go for a victory,” Pujara signed off.

'He knew he had to go for victory': Cheteshwar Pujara recalls Rishabh Pant's heroics in Australia


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