We play Rishabh Pant abroad because he is a match-winner: Ravi Shastri

We play Rishabh Pant abroad because he is a match-winner: Ravi Shastri

Rishabh Pant played a calculated knock of 89 in which he smashed nine fours and one six

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

In the past few years, there have been several moments when Rishabh Pant has been criticised for his performances on the field. It has earlier been for his poor shot selection, sloppy wicket-keeping, or failing to score runs in the key moments. But he has been backed by the Indian selectors nevertheless.

For now, Pant has given them something to cheer for with his match-winning knock of 89*, which helped India chase down a target of 328 against the mighty Australians on day five of the Gabba Test.  The left-handed batsman kept his calm and batted beautifully for his knock in which he batted for 138 balls.

The Delhi boy batted with a lot of maturities. After the match, head coach Ravi Shastri explained why he gets regularly picked for the Indian team. Shastri even went on to say that if Pant had not got out on 97 in the Sydney Test, he would have won India the match as well. 

Had he stuck around for some time in Sydney, he could have won us that game as well: Shastri

“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 the third Test), he could have won us that game as well. He has been brilliant and that’s why we back him,” Shastri was quoted saying by MyKhel. 

During his knock, Pant took calculated risks and kept rotating the strike, which helped him to keep the pressure on the Australian bowlers. This is the third time Pant has scored a fifty-plus score in Australia. Apart from that 97 in the previous Test, his highest Test score of 159 also came against the same opposition in Sydney in 2019. 

Rahane might look calm but he is a strong man from inside, says coach Shastri

The head coach then praised the entire team for showing a lot of character during the series. He pointed out that it was a huge win as the team was missing important players like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravichandran Ashwin. He took a note to praise the leaders, captain Virat Kohli and stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane. 

“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 the inside. A tough character,” Shastri added.