Pant thrilled to guide India to stunning win over Australia

By Sports Desk January 19, 2021

Rishabh Pant described his match-winning innings in India's stunning victory over Australia as "one of the biggest moments of my life".

Pant was unbeaten on 89 as India remarkably chased down 328 to beat Australia by three wickets at the Gabba, sealing a 2-1 series triumph as they retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

It ended Australia's 31-match unbeaten run at the venue as the tourists pulled off one of the all-time great Test victories, leaving Pant thrilled.

"This is one of the biggest moments of my life now, and I'm happy that all the support staff and all my team-mates supported me even when I wasn't playing," he said during an on-field presentation.

"It's been a dream series. The team management always backs me and tells me, you are a match-winner and you have to go win the match for the team.

"I keep thinking every day that I want to win matches for India, and I did it today. It was a fifth-day pitch and the ball was turning a bit. I thought I have to be disciplined with my shot selection."

Ajinkya Rahane was almost lost for words to sum up his feelings, having come in as stand-in captain after Virat Kohli returned home to attend the birth of his child.

"It really means a lot to us. I don't know how to describe this victory. I'm just proud of all the boys, each and every individual," said Rahane, who contributed a brisk 24 from 22 balls in the final innings.

"We just wanted to give our best, not to think about the result. When I went in, conversation between me and [Cheteshwar] Pujara was Puji to bat normal and me to go for my shots, because we knew Rishabh and Mayank [Agarwal] were there.

"Credit to Pujara, the way he handled the pressure was magnificent, and Rishabh was brilliant in the end."

Having bowled India out for 36 to win the opening Test, Australia were left to rue a series that slipped from their grasp.

Captain Tim Paine conceded India deserved their success and urged his own team to look forward to the challenges ahead.

He said: "Absolutely disappointed.

"We came here to win the Test and win the series, it's been a bit of a trend that we were found wanting in the key moments and completely outplayed by a tough Indian side that fully deserves the win.

"I think there's lots of things we'll look back at, but what's done is done. We need to look forward now, there's a big series in South Africa coming up, we've been outplayed by the better side in this series."

Related items

  • Anderson admits speculation over England future was 'draining' ahead of retirement Anderson admits speculation over England future was 'draining' ahead of retirement

    James Anderson acknowledged repeated questioning over his Test future became "draining", as the England great prepares for his final international red-ball outing in July.

    England's all-time leading wicket-taker Anderson announced earlier this month that he will end his storied red-ball career after the first Test against West Indies on July 10.

    The 41-year-old will require nine wickets in his final Test to surpass Shane Warne's 708 wickets and move second on the all-time dismissals list.

    Anderson will be greeted with a rapturous farewell at Lord's, though the Lancashire veteran says speculation over his retirement while still playing was somewhat straining.

    He said on the BBC's Tailenders podcast: "There's probably been two or three moments on the field, if the opposition are 500-3, I'll be thinking, 'do I really want to still be doing this?'

    "They are fleeting thoughts – nothing that has stuck with me or more than an over.

    "I don't know how much of that was me and how much it was the external noise that comes with ageing. For the last six years, or even longer, it's been, 'how long can you go on for?'

    "That in itself, certainly for the last couple of years, has been quite draining."

    Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum will be tasked with rebuilding an England bowling attack capable of overturning Australia away in the next Ashes series.

    That plan for the future seemed to force Anderson's hand into announcing his retirement decision, with speculation building the day before his eventual confirmation followed.

    Though content with his decision, Anderson admitted there is still a small part of him wishing to continue.

    "Some days I wake up and wish I was not retiring but then 90 per cent of the time, I'm happy with it," he added.

    "Not many people in sport get the chance to retire from sport at over 40. I'm happy I've made it this far."

  • Small contributions from Powell, Hetmyer help Royals past RCB to setup Sunrisers eliminator Small contributions from Powell, Hetmyer help Royals past RCB to setup Sunrisers eliminator

    Rajasthan Royals opener Yashasvi Jaiswal set the tone before Rovman Powell and Shimron Hetmyer chipped in and sent Royal Challengers Bengaluru crashing out of the Indian Premier League playoffs on Wednesday.

    The Royals will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier on Friday, to challenge for a place in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders, after their four-wicket victory in Ahmedabad.

    Virat Kohli made 33 to go with Rajat Patidar's 34, and a 17-ball 32 from Mahipal Lomror as RCB's batters failed to capitalise on their strong starts, finishing on 172-8.

    Avesh Khan led the impressive Royals bowling line-up with 3-44, as well as an economical 2-19 from Ravichandran Ashwin, teeing up a routine chase for the Royals, who got to 174-6 with an over to spare.

    Jaiswal crafted a fine 30-ball 45 – including eight boundaries – to ease any nerves, while middle-order hitters Riyan Parag and impact sub Shimron Hetmyer chipped in with 36 and 26 respectively. Hetmyer's 26 came off 14 balls and included three fours and a six, while Parag struck two fours and two sixes in his 26-ball knock.

    Mohammed Siraj dismissed both Parag and Hetmyer for his 2-33, but Rajasthan were already in full control, even after slipping to 160-6 with two overs remaining.

    That platform allowed Powell, who earlier took six catches in the field, to come in and blast 16 off just eight balls, slamming Lockie Ferguson (1-37) for two fours and a maximum, which ended in-form RCB's playoff hopes at the first post-season hurdle.

    The Royals had lost four matches consecutively before this meeting against RCB, who had won six straight, but now only Pat Cummins' Sunrisers stand in the way of Rajasthan and the IPL final.

    Data Debrief: Chahal makes RR history

    Yuzvendra Chahal bowled an expensive four overs, conceding 43 runs in the first innings, though it was his one wicket of Kohli that will live long in the memory.

    The Royals leg-spinner moved onto 66 IPL dismissals with the wicket of the Indian great, the most in Rajasthan history after surpassing Siddharth Trivedi's 65.

  • Headingley washout stops England and Pakistan's T20 World Cup preparation Headingley washout stops England and Pakistan's T20 World Cup preparation

    England and Pakistan were denied valuable T20 World Cup preparation after the first game of their limited-overs series was abandoned due to rain at Headingley on Wednesday.

    The umpires took little time to call off the first of a four-match T20I series as the decision was made without a ball being bowled at the ground in Leeds.

    England will have to wait to assess the fitness of the returning Jofra Archer, with Pakistan also having no chance to evaluate their players as the only side to still not announce their World Cup squad yet.

    Edgbaston will play host to the next meeting on Saturday, with clashes at Cardiff and The Oval to follow before the pair head off to the United States for the T20I tournament in June.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.