Cheteshwar Pujara recalls telling Rishabh Pant to take things cautiously when the left-hander entered his 90s during the chase in the third Test against Australia, at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) earlier this year.
However, Pant being Pant, after having smashed Nathan Lyon for plenty of runs, the southpaw looked for another big heave while on 97 off 117 balls. Unfortunately for the batsman, he couldn’t connect this time and got caught out. It was, though, one of the best counter-attacking innings in Test cricket.
“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. 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,” Cheteshwar Pujara said while speaking on the BBC’s Test Match Special.
Thankfully for India, after Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal, Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin displayed an epic rearguard to draw the game, before the visitors made history at The Gabba.
He knew that he can’t go for a draw, he had to go for a victory: Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara, who was once again a block in Australia’s parade with his sturdy resistance, played a perfect second fiddle to Pant’s whirlwind knocks in both the Tests. In Brisbane, Pant didn’t falter – he ensured the team crossed the line by staying there till the end with his fantastic innings of 89 runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara said that India started to believe from the second session and they played their shots with more freedom. On Pant’s mindset, the number 3 batsman reiterated that the youngster would have always gone for the win.
“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. 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,” said Pujara.