Ind vs Aus: Pant’s approach is ‘perfect’ in second innings, says Ponting

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting on Monday praised wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for having the “perfect” intent on the final day of the ongoing Pink Test between India and Australia here at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Ponting on Sunday made a prediction that India would not be able to score 200 in the final innings, but the visitors proved him wrong and as a result, the former Australian skipper is being trolled on social media.

“So much for the prediction of India scoring under 200, this pitch has not deteriorated anywhere near what I was expecting. Like the way Rishabh Pant’s playing, it is the perfect approach to take in these conditions. And now it is game on,” Ponting tweeted.

Pant came out to bat when India was 102/3 on the final day of the ongoing third Test, but he along with Cheteshwar Pujara ensured that the visitors remain with a chance of walking away with a victory.

At the lunch break, India’s score read 206/3, still needing 201 runs to win the match. Resuming day five on 98/2, India did not have a good start as the side lost skipper Ajinkya Rahane (4) pretty early as he was sent back to the pavilion by Nathan Lyon and it gave Australia a chance to create more pressure. However, the visitors made a surprising move as the side sent in wicket-keeper batsman Pant ahead of Hanuma Vihari.

The move worked well as Pant played in an aggressive manner and took a special liking towards Lyon and he did not let the off-spinner settle. Pant went on to bring up his fifty and as a result, he became the youngest wicket-keeper (23 years and 95 days) to score 50 plus runs in the fourth innings of a Test in Australia. He beat the record of former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy who was 24 years and 216 days when he achieved the feat.

In the end, Pant and Pujara managed to survive the first session and the visitors went to the break with seven wickets still in hand. Both Pant and Pujara have extended their fourth-wicket partnership to 104 runs.

On day four, Australia had set a target of 407 for India to win the third Test. Cameron Green and Steve Smith played knocks of 84 and 81 respectively as Australia declared their second innings on 312/6.

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