Sydney, Dec 14: Left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant believes the century he scored in the second tour game has boosted his confidence ahead of the four-match Test series between India and Australia which begins Thursday at the Adelaide Oval.
Pant scored a blistering 73-ball ton in the second innings of the pink-ball practice match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Alongwith Pant (103*), Hanuma Vihari (104*), Shubman Gill (65) and Mayank Agarwal (61) also made notable contributions in the drawn match which was dominated by the visitors. Indian pace quartet of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj also impressed with their fierce bowling during the course of the game.
"I think it was a pretty good scenario, when you are playing a three-day first-class game with the pink ball, it was important that we got a practice game with the pink ball. Our bowlers bowled really well, batsmen got some time in the middle, I think we got pretty good practice. Playing under the lights is difficult with the pink ball, the ball starts swinging, batting is relatively easier during the day time," Pant told bcci.tv.
"Hanuma Vihari and I planned on building a partnership and we planned on batting throughout the day. It was important that I got some time in the middle, the confidence is built slowly, and in the last over of the day, I scored 22 runs to bring up my century. In the last over of the day, I started hitting shots and Vihari told me that I can bring up a century. Eventually, I scored a ton and this gave me confidence," he added.
India had scored just 194 in their first innings where almost all the batters, except Bumrah (55*), failed to deliver. However, the team improved its performance in the second innings and scored 386/4 declared, setting a 473-run target for Australia A. The hosts reached 307/4 in the final session on Sunday when both teams decided to shake hands and end the match in a draw. Ben McDermott remained not out at 107 while Jack Wildermuth scored unbeaten 111 for Australia A.
"We were dismissed quickly in the first innings, there was some moisture on the wicket in the first innings, the ball was swinging in the second innings as well. Everyone got an idea about the wicket and hence the second innings was better. When I went out to bat in the second innings on day two, quite a few overs were left in the day," Pant said.