Ajinkya Rahane reveals why India promoted Rishabh Pant: The Indian captain laid emphasis on India wanting to benefit from the left-right combination.
India captain Ajinkya Rahane admitted that his team wasn’t thinking about the result coming into Day 5 of a daunting 407-run chase. Throwing his weight behind “fighting till the end”, Rahane was pleased with the way India managed to draw the third Test against Australia in Sydney despite the odds being against them.
“Our talk coming this morning was to show character and fight till the end. Not to think about the result. Really happy with the way we fought especially today but also throughout the game, even in the first innings when Australia were 200 for 2 and getting them all out for 338 was really good,” Rahane told Fox Sports during the post-match presentation ceremony.
While a 148-run partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara (77) and Rishabh Pant (97) brought India back into the match, it was the pair of Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin who batted together for more than 42 overs, facing 161 and 128 balls respectively to save the match.
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— Sir Vivian Richards (@ivivianrichards) January 11, 2021
Despite hurting his hamstring very early in the innings and batting without a runner, Vihari never let the pain be visible on his face or in his batting. Ashwin, on the other hand, also copped in some nasty short delivery on the body but the pair showed oodles of resilience to combat the Australian attack
“There are few areas we can improve on but special mention to [Hanuma] Vihari and [Ravichandran] Ashwin. The way they batted in the end and showed character was really good to see,” Rahane said.
Ajinkya Rahane reveals why India promoted Rishabh Pant to Number 5 at the SCG
Needing 309 runs to win on Day 5, it was never going to be easy for India. What made it all the more difficult was Rahane (4) getting out in the first 10 minutes.
Contrary to the supposed batting order, India promoted Pant to No. 5 as the swashbuckling batsman scored his third Test half-century in a swashbuckling manner. Bringing India right into the match, Pant arguably played his best at the highest level to smash 12 fours and three sixes with an injured elbow.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 11, 2021
Being asked about the rationale behind sending Pant ahead of Vihari in the morning session, Rahane laid emphasis on India wanting to benefit from the left-right combination and credited the 23-year old player for playing a career-defining knock.
“Credit to him [Rishabh Pant]. It was a ploy to have right-left combination in the middle but credit to Pant,” Rahane added.