January 4, 2019 4:26:29 pm
India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant knows how it feels getting dismissed into the 90s in Test cricket. In two innings against West Indies last year, the 21-year-old was dismissed on 92 on both the occasions. On Friday, he went on to score his 2nd Test ton, becoming the first Indian to register a Test century in Australia. Speaking to reporters after the day’s play, the left-handed batsman admitted he was nervous when he entered the 90s.
“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,” the batsman said.
Pant stitched a 204-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja as India took their total to 622/7 before declaring the innings. On being asked the difference between his previous innings and the one on Friday, the left-handed batsman said that another batsman on the other end made the difference. “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,” he said.
Pant remained unbeaten on 159 in 189 balls on Friday. The youngster credited the Indian dressing room for giving him the freedom to express himself on the field. “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,” he said.
This is Pant’s second away ton. He had earlier scored one in England. But the keeper said that he focuses more on what the team needs for him in different situations, rather than personal milestones. “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,” he said.
On being asked about his quick progress in the format, Pant said that he hopes to continue to improve till he retires. “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.
When India came into the attack, the keeper dropped an easy catch to dismiss Usman Khawaja off Mohammed Shami. On being questioned about the missed opportunity, he 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.”
Australia finished the second day at 24/0, trailing India by 598 runs.
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