Rishabh Pant is just 21. He already has the most dismissals by an Indian wicketkeeper in a match (11 dismissals in 1st test match against Australia) and in the series (still counting!). And, he is the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a century in Australia. Not just any century but 159 not out. The only other candidate for the wicket-keeper batsman’s job is Wriddhiman Saha and he is already 34. So, if your question is as to who is the right wicketkeeper choice for India – then the answer is absolutely clear. Pant is not just the future, he is a sparkling present as well!
Granted Australia do not have a Glenn Mcgrath or a Shane Warne, but then between Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyons – they do have 4 world class bowlers. And, they aren’t some rookies either! Hazlewood, for example, has almost 100 tests, ODIs and T20s combined with close to 250 wickets to his credit! Mitchell Starc has over 150 Tests, ODIs and T20s with 374 wickets, of which 200 are in just tests! Lyon has 335 wickets in 83 tests already, which is at an impressive 4.03 wickets per match average!!
So, I am not willing to say or acknowledge that this Australian attack is very poor or substandard. It isn’t. Yet, in this series, it has struggled to bowl the Indian team out in most innings. Actually, the truth is that in this series – the Indian batsmen are a class above the rest that have visited down under in terms of their attitude and aggression. Despite the fact that from Pujara to Rahane to Kohli – all have been stuck by a rising ball in this series, these players have not been bogged. They have played their shots and scored runs. So, it isn’t as if the Aussie bowlers are bad, its just that the Indian batsmen are really playing well. Now, what Australia does miss are batsmen like Steven Smith and David Warner. But its their bowling that has lost them the matches in this series!
Cheteshwar Pujara is a cricket connoisseurs delight! He was created by the divine from “ground up” for Test cricket only. He doesn’t play IPL or any other form of the game. Only test cricket. but boy does he play well!
With two regular and one part time (Vihari) spinners and two genuine fast bowlers of the highest class, India can bowl the Australian team out twice. We still have three days to go and the Indian bowlers will be looking for the kill from get go. If Kohli and boys win this test, as is expected, it will create history. And, will be a good way to give a lesson to Naseeruddin Shah to keep his mouth shut when it comes to things other than acting. For, some people have no sense of history or sports.
Here is India’s first innings scorecard for you.
And here are the day’s highlights.