In Stats: Pant Power Propels India on Record-Breaking Day at SCG
If Day 1 of the New Year’s Test belonged to Cheteshwar Pujara, Day 2 at Sydney was all about Rishabh Pant – but the common factor was that India continued to rewrite the record books in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy finale.
Already on the brink of history coming into the Sydney Test holding a 2-1 lead in the four-match series, India moved within touching distance of their first-ever Test series win Down Under after posting a giant first innings total of 622/7d – their fourth-highest total in Tests outside Asia, and highest since 2007.
Pant made a clutch of records his own, becoming the first Indian wicketkeeper to hit a Test hundred in Australia and eventually finishing on an unbeaten 159.
The statistical highlights from Day 2 of the fourth Test between Australia and India:
- Cheteshwar Pujara, who began Day 2 on 130, was unable to register what would have been the first double century by an Indian batsman in Australia since Sachin Tendulkar’s 241*, also at Sydney, in 2004. But Pujara’s 193 becomes his highest score in Test matches away from home, bettering his previous best of 153 against South Africa (Johannesburg, 2013) and Sri Lanka (Galle, 2013).
- Over the course of his 373-ball long stay at the crease, Pujara set a new record for balls faced by an Indian batsman in a Test series in Australia; only two other Indian batsmen have faced more deliveries in an away Test series.
- Rishabh Pant’s hundred, the second of his career, was the first by an Indian wicketkeeper in Tests in Australia. Pant’s maiden hundred, at The Oval in September 2018, had made him the first Indian ‘keeper to reach three figures in Tests in England.
- Pant’s 159 not out also becomes the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper in an away Test, surpassing MS Dhoni’s 148 against Pakistan at Faisalabad in 2006.
- At 21 years and 92 days, Pant is now the second-youngest Indian to score a Test hundred in Australia; only Sachin Tendulkar was younger than Pant when he scored hundreds on the 1991/92 tour of Australia.
- Pant also became the youngest wicketkeeper to score a Test hundred in Australia; the record was previously held by South Africa's Quinton de Kock, who was 23 years and 333 days old when he scored 104 at Hobart in 2016/17.
- Among the more impressive aspects of Pant’s knock was how he applied himself and constructed his innings in a manner contrary to his reputation of being a dasher. The left-hander got to his half-century off 85 balls, reached his hundred 52 deliveries later, and took another 48 deliveries to get to 150. His application can be gauged further by the fact that there was a stretch of 54 deliveries when he did not hit a single boundary.
- Pant also showcased improved resolve in playing out his nemesis Nathan Lyon, scoring 51 runs off 81 balls from the Australian off-spinner who had dismissed him on each occasion in the first two Test matches.
- Pant’s seventh-wicket association with Ravindra Jadeja at the fall of Pujara’s wicket would prove to be the big record-breaking feat of the day. Pant and Jadeja’s 204-run stand is the highest-ever for the seventh wicket in Tests in Australia.
- The Pant-Jadeja association is also only India’s second 200+ stand for the seventh wicket in Tests away from home, and their best for the wicket in all Tests against Australia.