India tour of Australia: Indian batsman Rishabh Pant, in an exclusive interview with Sports Today, has walked us through his preparations ahead of the Test series that helped him into a good mental zone for the challenge down under.
Rishabh Pant after scoring the winning runs at the Gabba. (AP Photo)
- I got a lot of time to spend to improve my game: Rishabh Pant
- I realised that even 100 per cent won’t be enough: Pant
- Pant scored a brilliant unbeaten 89 to win the Gabba Test for India
Rishabh Pant’s boundary of the last ball of Josh Hazlewood’s over sealed the deal for India in the Gabba Test. Pant (89 n.o.) walked off as a hero as India, for the first time in Test cricket history, were able to breach the Gabba fortress. The Brisbane Test victory will forever be remembered as that match that a young Rishabh Pant won for Team India will his unparalleled grit and imagination.
According to the wicketkeeper-batsman, the preparation for it was a process that involved a lot of time and ‘more than 100 per cent’ of the effort.
“Had a lot of time to get my preparation done [for the Test series] since I wasn’t even a part of the ODIs and T20Is. So I got a lot of time to spend to improve myself mentally and physically. I worked on my skills and fitness over that time I got. I always try give my 100 per cent in every game but this time I realised that even 100 per cent won’t be enough, I have to put in more effort,” Rishabh Pant told Boria Majumdar in an exclusive interview with Sports Today.
“So I tried giving my 200 per cent into the preparations, I used to get exhausted after training ever day but my mind was set on ‘how do I improve my game from here?’ How do I improve my fitness, my keeping skills, my batting. All I had in mind that I had to work on improving all aspects of my game and win games for India. Even though I wasn’t playing for the team then but it was all a part of a process that winning games for India was all I wanted.”
Right ahead of the Test series, that began on December 17, Pant scored an unbeaten 103 in the 2nd practice match against Australia A. That knock, according to Pant, was the one that gave him confidence ahead of the Test series.
“Since my preparations were going on well, I was in a good zone. I wasn’t a part of the 1st practice match. When I played the 2nd practice game, I scored a hundred. So I gathered some confidence from that knock, because that was my first match on the tour and I got a hundred. I was in a very good zone mentally. I felt this will help me, and that being in that zone helped us win the series, I believe,” he added.