Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin confirmed that wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will bat in Team India’s second innings on Day 5 of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
The 23-year-old was struck on his elbow by a short ball from Pat Cummins in the first innings. Writhing in tremendous pain, Pant immediately called the physio.
Although he took pain killers and had a strapping done, the southpaw couldn’t concentrate and eventually fell after scoring just 36. He was taken for scans after Team India’s first innings and Wriddhiman Saha donned the gloves.
However, in a video conference after the end of Day 4’s play, Ravichandran Ashwin confirmed that the scans revealed there was no fracture. Thus, Rishabh Pant could be seen in action on Day 5 and could play an important role in Team India’s endeavor to save the SCG Test.
“Just for clarification, it has already been mentioned that Rishabh Pant will bat. The broadcasters also made sure that it was announced. I think he will bat, definitely the bruise was quite severe and it was quite painful. The elbow can be a very tricky place to deal with,” Ravichandran Ashwin said.
“Whatever has been thrown at us, we have responded in a warrior-like fashion” – Ravichandran Ashwin
India have a monumental task of saving the SCG Test on Day 5. The visitors have eight wickets in hand, possibly seven, if Ravindra Jadeja is unable to bat due to his dislocated thumb.
Both Pant and Jadeja have been out of action for the visitors since their first innings. Although this is a huge blow for Team India, Ravichandran Ashwin revealed that the atmosphere in the dressing room is still positive.
Instead of considering themselves unlucky for having injury woes, Ashwin believes the Indian team is focused on the task at hand. The 34-year-old stated that the visitors will take the fight to the Aussies on Day 5 and will do their best to avoid defeat.
“As a team inside the dressing room, we haven’t really spoken about how things are not going our way. Sometimes when they don’t go your way, they don’t and that’s how the sport is. But we refrain from talking about things that are not in our control. I personally feel with whatever has been thrown at us, we have responded in a very warrior-like fashion and we would like to continue and even take the fight tomorrow,” Ravichandran Ashwin said.
A ray of hope for the visitors is that their two experienced batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are still at the crease. With only Hanuma Vihari as the other batsman left to come, the onus will be on these two to bat out a large portion of Day 5.
Published 10 Jan 2021, 18:36 IST