Gautam Gambhir has termed Rishabh Pant's century in the third and final Test against South Africa one of the best by an Indian batter in overseas conditions.
Pant's unbeaten 100-run knock came off 139 deliveries and was studded with six fours and four sixes. Despite his best efforts, Team India were bowled out for a mere 198 runs in their second innings.
While reviewing the third day's play on Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir was effusive in his praise for Rishabh Pant. He said:
"I feel it is one of the best hundreds overseas by an Indian. The sort of situation that was there, it is necessary to remember that he [Pant] had come into bat when India had lost two wickets in the first two overs. It is not that he had come when a platform had been set."
The former India cricketer highlighted that Pant's blazing knock came when the team was in a spot of bother. Gambhir elaborated:
"If he had gotten out there, the game might have become one-sided. So despite that, such an attacking hundred, with so much control and to play till the end and remain unbeaten - amazing knock."
Team India lost the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the first two overs of the third morning and were reduced to a score of 58/4. Pant then stitched together a 94-run partnership with Virat Kohli to bring the visitors back into the game.
"Rishabh Pant will remember this hundred for a very long time" - Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir pointed out that Rishabh Pant overshadowed all the other Indian batters with his knock. He explained:
"He [Pant] will remember this hundred for a very long time because he has scored more than 50 percent of the runs and on a wicket where every batter has struggled, from Virat Kohli, who didn't look in that much rhythm in the second innings, to KL Rahul."
The cricketer-turned-politician concluded by saying that Rishabh Pant could have converted the knock into a bigger hundred if the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur had stayed with him. Gambhir observed:
"Despite that, the attacking cricket he played and he could have scored even more runs if Ashwin or Shardul Thakur had given him support. We are seeing 100 off 139 deliveries, but this hundred could have become 140 or 150 if someone had batted with him."
None of the Indian lower-order batters stayed at the wicket for long. Ashwin, Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah contributed a combined 14 runs.
Q. Was Rishabh Pant let down by the Indian lower-order batters?
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