India’s wicket batsman, who has been included in the visitors’ Test squad as a backup for opener Shikhar Dhawan pummelled 73 balls 100 against Australia A on Day 2 of the 2nd warm-up game. After getting mopped up for 194 in the 1st innings, India A took a lead of 472 runs before declaring on Saturday.
Batting down the order, Pant along with Hanuma Vihari anchored India A’s score to a mammoth total. While Rishabh put up an entertaining show at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Vihari’s ton was a contrasting one. The latter batted with calmer and composure at the opposite end as he returned unbeaten on 104 off 194.
A toothless Aussie attack found them at the receiving end as Alex Carey’s side was rendered blunt by the two Indian batsmen. Batting at 81, Pant took the aerial route as he slogged Jack Wildermuth for 22 runs in the last over of Day 2. Pant did not play the 1st warm-up game and was not even in contention to make it to the playing XI.
However, his power-hitting has certainly given the selectors a headache now. Pant in his innings of unbeaten 103 off 73 balls, struck nine fours and six sixes. In the last over his blitzkrieg of 4, 4, 6, 4, 4 took India to a strong position.
Ahead of Day 3’s play, former Aussie skipper, Alan Border eviscerated the Alex Carey led-side for their ‘lethargic’ performance. “One of the worst, (most) lethargic performances I have seen in the last session of any cricket. This is Australia A, they are representing Australia, they are young blokes trying to make their way. That fielding performance, bowling performance, captaincy performance – an absolute disgrace. Not up to scratch at all,” he said.