Cape Town: India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said that Rishabh Pant batted sensibly and has given the team a great chance to win the Test match against South Africa.
The swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batter Pant’s unbeaten century helped India set a target of 212 on Day 3 of the third and series-deciding Test on Thursday.
India found themselves in a tricky situation after both experienced campaigners Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane had yet another bad day at the office.
However, Kohli and Pant steadied the innings and built a solid 94-run partnership. After the dismissal of Kohli (29), Pant added crucial runs towards the end.
“That stage you needed a partnership. There was Virat with him (Pant) to help assess the situation. He batted very well. Once Virat was gone, he took the leading role,” said Mhambrey in a virtual press conference.
“He (Pant) batted sensibly and gave us great opportunity to win from here. It was a fab innings from him. Got runs in crucial time. He showed a lot of character. It wasn’t easy to bat on.”
South Africa lost openers before reaching 101/2 at stumps on Day 3. At one point, Dean Elgar (30) and Keegan Petersen (48 not out) looked threatening as both were taking the Indian attack to cleaners.
The duo stitched a 78-run stand for the second wicket before Jasprit Bumrah finally got the big fish Elgar at the stroke of stumps.
“At one stage it looked tight. Thankfully, we picked the wicket,” said Mhambrey.
“First session will be crucial tomorrow. From bowling perspective, bowlers just need to hit the right areas.
“The wicket has a little awkward bounce like couple of balls kicked up. So yeah, bowlers need to keep it simple, hit the right areas and be patient. You’ll get the results,” he signed off.