An incredible shot from Rishabh Pant raised questions about Australia’s leadership after the goalkeeper-batter hit 97 of 118 balls to leave the expectations of a victory of the fifth regulatory day for Australia in shambles.
Two years after registering a high score of 159 not in one spot, Pant, who had been revamped into the Indian Order, was summoned into the crease and settled down beautifully alongside the methodical play of Cheteshwar Pujara.
The partnership was built and built and Australia’s panic tactics were called into question when the pair hit 148 to reduce a 407 goal to under 150 victory points.
While it was a thrilling blow from the Indian keeper, who twice surrounded Lyon with the attack, hitting him for three to six in the middle of the assault, Australian captain Tim Paine has been criticized for his rankings in the field and twice lowered the edges of the pants to compound his own frustration.
Pant’s innings gained momentum from India, as Paine’s troops hit panic stations.
“I think Australia is panicking,” Warne said on Fox Cricket, shortly before Pant’s dismissal.
“I can’t believe some of the fields I saw from Nathan Lyon – the last one before lunch, five men on the fence. Now, with Nathan Lyon, why not get these people … a little surprised at the Australian tactics, to be honest. “
The flamboyant punchmaker was eventually pulled out when he danced the wicket to Nathan Lyon and sliced the ball to Pat Cummins at the back point.
The unceremonious dismissal saw him fall excruciatingly short of one of SCG’s most memorable tons and filled the Aussie side with self-doubt.
At 23, Pant became the most successful Asian wicket keeper on Australian soil during his innings, outscoring Syed Kirmani.