Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman believes Rishabh Pant's match-winning knock in the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy could become a 'career-defining' innings for him.
Most cricket experts felt that India would draw or lose the final Test in Brisbane after losing Rohit Sharma early on the fifth day. But Rishabh Pant's blazing knock, along with significant contributions from Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara, helped the visitors register an unlikely win while chasing 328.
In the recent edition of the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, VVS Laxman was asked about Rishabh Pant's match-winning knock at the Gabba. The innings came on the back of a similar impressive effort in the third Test in Sydney. The former right-handed batsman pointed out that Pant's heroics in Brisbane was a perfectly executed innings under pressure from a player who is more renowned for playing the big shots.
"We all knew he had the calibre to win matches, he had all strokes in the book and at the same time he had the ability to hit boundaries and sixes at will of good deliveries. But what he showed at Gabba was just exemplary batting under pressure," said Laxman
VVS Laxman observed that Rishabh Pant's knock could be a career-changing moment for him. He reasoned that the southpaw batted with great composure while not letting the required run rate blow out of proportions.
"Rishabh Pant's knock at Gabba can become a career-defining innings for him. He was given a promotion and would have been sent with a message to go and play the big shots and to along with the asking run rate. But he went in and batted with maturity, the hurry was not at all seen," added Laxman
"He played high percentage shots" - VVS Laxman on Rishabh Pant
VVS Laxman highlighted that Rishabh Pant did not lose the plot despite Nathan Lyon enticing him to play the big shots by bowling wide outside the off-stump.
"The way Nathan Lyon was bowling outside the off-stump and forcing him to play a false shot but he played with patience and whenever he got a chance, he took advantage of that," said Laxman
Laxman signed off by stating that Rishabh Pant finishing the match was the most significant part of his knock.
"He played high percentage shots and the good thing is that we generally talk that a young player should win the match and not only make a match, and he did that," concluded VVS Laxman
Rishabh Pant's career seemed to be in the doldrums after he was not selected in India's white-ball squads during the Australia tour. He didn't feature in the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy too. But the swashbuckling wicket-keeper-batsman shone in the final three Tests and would want to play a significant role in the upcoming home series against England.