Steve Smith shadow bats and removes batsman’s guard on Day 5; Rishabh Pant takes fresh guard again – CricTracker

Pant eventually got out to Nathan Lyon after scoring 97 runs.

Steve Smith and Rishabh Pant
Steve Smith and Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian batsmen came out firing on all cylinders in the fifth day of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Especially Rishabh Pant, who went hammer and tongs. Two years ago, the southpaw notched his highest Test score of an unbeaten 159 and he almost replicated something similar even this time around. He was at his very best and set the cat amongst the pigeons in the Aussie camp.

With India chasing 407, he came to bat when the visiting team needed 305 runs with seven wickets in hand. However, instead of going into his shell, he played his shots freely. For the fourth wicket, he put on 148 runs along with Cheteshwar Pujara. Even as Pujara was playing in a cautious manner, Pant took on the bowling and collected boundaries with sheer authority.

The left-hander was bringing the target down at a brisk rate, guiding India close to victory. However, he got out on 97 after trying to go for a big shot off Nathan Lyon. Pat Cummins took a simple catch inside the circle.

Pant played at a strike-rate of 82.20 and his knock was laced with 12 fours and three sixes. The positivity also rubbed off on Pujara, who smashed Cummins for three fours on the trot in the 83rd over.

Meanwhile, Steve Smith tried to ruffle Pant. During one of the drinks breaks, Smith went to the batsman’s crease, shadow batted and scuffed the batsman’s guard. It goes without saying he was trying to disturb the batsman’s concentration. Thereafter, Pant had to come and take a fresh guard again.

Here’s the video: –

Bhogle lauds Rishabh Pant

In the meantime, Harsha Bhogle, the renowned sports journalist, opined on Pant’s stupendous knock in Sydney. The veteran stated that the knock is Pant’s best in his Test career thus far. Bhogle said that the masterclass has given India a slender chance to chase the daunting target down.

“The century wasn’t to be. But it is easily Pant’s best test innings. You can’t fault him the shot because it was many of those that offered a glimmer of victory when none believed it was possible,” Bhogle was quoted as saying on Cricbuzz.

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