Rishabh Pant is often criticized for throwing his wicket away by playing rash shots and not giving himself enough time to settle. However, Gavaskar commended how the wicket-keeper batsman took 35 balls to get his eye in.
Once Rishabh Pant was set, he started attacking Nathan Lyon to disrupt his rhythm. The 23-year-old scored a blistering 97 runs from just 118 balls, including 12 fours and three sixes.
Pant's brave innings gave Team India the belief that they could get closer to the target and avoid defeat.
"I will be honest. We did know what the extent of Rishabh Pant's injury was. We weren't very sure whether Ravindra Jadeja would come into bat. With two batsmen a little bit uncertain, I wasn't very certain whether they would be able to survive even up to Tea," Sunil Gavaskar said.
"Then Rishabh Pant came in, took 35 deliveries for 5 runs, he assessed the wicket and then went down the pitch to try and hit Nathan Lyon for those big sixes. Threw him off his line and length, that was wonderful cricketing thinking,” he further added.
Rishabh Pant allowed his injury to get a little better: Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar believes the time that Rishabh Pant gave himself to get settled at the crease actually helped his injury get better. The southpaw was struck on his elbow during Team India's first innings through a short ball from Pat Cummins.
Although scans showed that there was no fracture, his elbow was bruised and Pant showed great character to bat through the pain.
Sunil Gavaskar feels till Pant was there at the crease, the visitors had a genuine chance of winning the game.
“He (Rishabh Pant) also allowed the injury to get a little bit better. The injury gets warmed up when the adrenaline is flowing. Then you don't think about soreness. Once he was a little bit more confident that his injury won't stop him from playing the big shots, he went out and played the big shots and almost put India in a position where India could win,” Sunil Gavaskar noted.
Despite their rising injury woes, Team India pulled off a miraculous escape from the jaws of defeat to draw the SCG Test.
While the visitors will be high on confidence, Australia would rue the dropped catches that forced them to settle for a draw.
The fourth and final Test between India and Australia will be played from January 15 at the Gabba in Brisbane.Published 11 Jan 2021, 20:36 IST