Sydney: Rishabh Pant on Monday became the youngest wicket-keeper to score fifty-plus runs in the fourth innings of a Test match in Australia.
Pant achieved the feat on the final day of the ongoing Test against Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). India made a clever move on the fifth day as they promoted Pant up in the order after skipper Ajinkya Rahane was departed early and interestingly it worked for the visitors.
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 wicket-keeper Ian Healy who was 24 years and 216 days when he achieved the feat.
Unfortunately for Pant, he could not reach his 100 and fell for 97 when India was at 250, needing 157 runs to win the match and take 2-1 lead in the series.
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.
Pant and Cheteshwar 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.Brief Scores: Australia 338 and 312/6d; India 244 and 206/3 (Rishabh Pant 73*, Cheteshwar Pujara 41* Nathan Lyon 1-69).
(With ANI inputs)