Rishabh Pant was the star of the show with a brilliant 101 off 118 balls. He hit 13 fours and two sixes during his third Test century.
The 23-year-old, has in the past, been guilty of throwing his wicket away by playing rash shots. On Friday though, he mixed caution with aggression, a tactic that yielded rich dividends.
In a video posted on BCCI’s official website, Rohit Sharma asked the youngster about his plan when he stepped out to the middle when India were in trouble. Rishabh Pant revealed:
“When I came to bat, I was looking to take my time. I was assessing the pitch.”
Rohit Sharma quickly intervened and asked:
“Do you do so much planning? You assess the pitch?"
To this, Rishabh Pant swiftly responded:
“You told me to assess the pitch and then play your shots.”
On a more serious note, the 23-year-old explained:
“The only plan we had was to build a partnership. That was the gameplan for us. After we got the lead, the only gameplan I had was to see the ball and hit my shots.”
Rishabh Pant was uncharacteristically subdued during the first half of his innings before opening up as he approached his hundred. Asked whether he had learned any lessons from his previous mistakes, Rishabh Pant told Rohit Sharma:
“As a cricketer, over a period of time, I have understood that batting in the lower order is sometimes difficult. So you have to think only one thing - as a team what we want you to do [sic]. When you keep team first, the pressure comes down. That’s what I have learnt in such a short time.”
Rohit Sharma then advised Rishabh Pant, in a light-hearted tone, that he could think a little less and concentrate more on his attacking batting, telling the left-hander:
“We don’t want you to think so much. We will think. There are others to think a lot about the game. You just have to think little bit and then play your game. We want that from you, and you are doing that, which is good.”
While Rishabh Pant smashed a hundred on Friday, Rohit Sharma contributed 49, and Washington Sundar scored an unbeaten 60.