The wicket-keeper batsman surpassed former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to become the quickest Indian glovesman to 1,000 Test runs. Dhoni had taken 32 innings to complete 1,000 runs in the longest format while Pant achieved the feat in only 27 innings. Last week, Pant became the youngest wicket-keeper to score fifty-plus runs in the fourth innings of a Test match in Australia during the Sydney game.
Rishabh ‘nerves of steel’ Pant will be forgiven for all the mistakes he has made through the series with wicket-keeping gloves in hand as each of the 89 runs that he scored in the final hour on Tuesday was worth its weight in gold. It was only poetic justice that he hit a boundary to win India a thriller.
The last time a visiting team came out triumphant from the Brisbane Cricket Ground was back in November 1988 when the mighty West Indian outfit under the leadership of Viv Richards thrashed Allan Border’s team by 9 wickets. What makes the feat even more commendable is how the Indians fought multiple injuries and mental fatigue – due to the bio-bubble restrictions — to register a historic win.
Having already lost Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari going into the final Test, Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin too couldn’t get match-fit and that saw India field a bowling attack that was led by a two-Test old Mohammed Siraj. But the lion-hearted pacer rose through the ashes like a phoenix to show he belongs at the highest level.
Coming back to the final day’s action, needing 69 to win going into the last hour, any other team might have thought of ensuring a draw first. But not this Indian team which is filled with youngsters who believe in backing themselves till the fat lady sings. With swashbuckling Rishabh Pant at the crease, Australia skipper Tim Paine had no option but to keep the field open with men at the boundary. The wicket-keeper did take a few chances, but luck was smiling bright and sunny on him and he made hay.