Rishabh Pant: ‘One of the biggest things in my life right now’


From 36 all out in Adelaide to levelling the series in Melbourne to a fighting draw in Sydney, India finally finished a thrilling four-Test series with a slim win in Brisbane to take the series 1-1. Here’s how India captain Ajinkya Rahane and Man of the Match Rishabh Pant reacted after the win:

Rishabh Pant, 89*
“I think this is one of the biggest things in my life right now. I am happy that all the support staff from the team and all the fans over here supported me a lot even though I wasn’t playing in the starting matches but it has been a dream series I can say that. After not playing the first match, I have been practising hard and everything paid off because we won the series.

“The team management always backs me and tells me that you are matchwinner and you always have to go and win the match for the team. That’s the only thing I keep on thinking every day that I want to win matches for India and I am happy that I did it today.

“It was a fifth-day pitch and the ball was turning a bit and I thought I had to be a bit disciplined with my shot selection. And if you win the match, everything pays off well. I think everything went so well for us, so I am happy.”

Rishabh Pant is all smiles after guiding India home © Getty Images

Ajinkya Rahane, captain
“It really means a lot to us. I don’t know how to describe this victory, but I am really proud of all the boys. We showed character, attitude…especially after the Adelaide Test. We decided we will fight very hard. We know Australia in Australia is a very dangerous team. We just promised not to think about results. I don’t know how to describe this victory. I am just really proud of each and every individual. When I went in (to) bat, the conversation between me and [Cheteshwar] Pujara was for Puji to bat normal, but I wanted to play with intent and if we get close to the total, then Rishabh and Mayank can get the total for us. It was all about the intent out there after lunch. Credit to Pujara for the way he batted, with the mental pressure. Washington Sundar was really good at the end.

“Taking 20 wickets was the key (playing with 20 players across the Tests), and that’s why we opted for five bowlers. We knew that if we are going to win this Test match and the series, then five bowlers will be the key. Washington Sundar got (us) that balance in place of [Ravindra] Jadeja. Unfortunate that Jadeja got injured in the last Test match. Washington Sundar got that balance for us, to allow us to play five bowlers. All credit to them. [Mohammed] Siraj had played two Test matches, Saini one, Shardul Thakur one. Washington in his debut Test match. The way these guys handled pressure was really good.

“As I said, after the Adelaide Test match, we didn’t discuss anything, about what happened in that Test. We just wanted to play that game. We wanted to play good on the field. We weren’t thinking about the result. Each and every individual contributed to the Melbourne Test match and that was the key moment for us. I am really happy for that.”

More to follow…

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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