The 23-year-old batted brilliantly on Day 5 of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), scoring a quickfire 97 off just 118 balls. His blistering knock included 12 fours and three massive sixes, with Rishabh Pant taking a special liking to off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, Parthiv Patel explained why he feels playing Rishabh Pant as a pure batsman in Brisbane makes complete sense. He also believes Wriddhiman Saha should play at the Gabba as Team India's wicketkeeper.
"There is no doubt in the fact that he (Rishabh Pant) can definitely play as a pure batsman, and we might even get to see that in the next Test match. The way in which he has batted, the way he has carried himself and showed his character, I feel there is a strong case in Tests that Wriddhiman Saha plays as a keeper, and Rishabh Pant plays as a pure batsman," Parthiv Patel said.
Rishabh Pant should bat at No. 5: Parthiv Patel
Parthiv Patel reckons No. 5 is the perfect position for Rishabh Pant to bat. The 23-year-old was sent in at the fall of the third wicket in Team India's second innings at the SCG, a decision that proved to be a masterstroke.
Patel opines Team India should stick to what has worked for them so far. He also feels having a left-hander in the middle-order will force the Aussie quicks to alter their line and lengths.
"I am insisting that Rishabh Pant should bat at No.5 because then you have a left-hander in the middle-order. So if Ajinkya Rahane bats at No.4, Rishabh Pant bats at No.5, and whoever is available bats at No.6, with Saha coming in at No.7. So a left-hander in the middle-order forces the bowlers to change their line and lengths. Thus this makes much sense," Parthiv Patel asserted.
At the start of play on Day 5 of the SCG Test, very few gave the visitors a chance to save the game. When stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed in the second over of the day, a defeat looked like a very plausible proposition..
However, Rishabh Pant walked out to bat and changed the complexion of the game. After scoring just seven runs off his first 36 balls, the left-hander launched a blistering counter-attacking style that put Australia on the back foot.
Even on the cusp of a richly deserving century, Rishabh Pant continued to play fearlessly. However, one shot too many when on 97 made him Lyon's 396th Test victim.
Till Rishabh Pant was there at the crease, Team India had a genuine chance of pulling off a miraculous win, which would have been incredible, considering their spate of injury woes.
Nevertheless, Rishabh Pant's heroics laid the platform for Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin to salvage a well-deserved draw.
Many believe had the 23-year-old played with more maturity, the result could have been different. However, the draw was no less than a victory for the injury-ravaged visitors.
Nevertheless, Rishabh Pant provided a trailer of what could unfold in Brisbane if he stays at the crease for a while. Australia have been suitably warned.