Birmingham, July 2 – India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has revealed that at the time India lost wickets in a heap, it was natural for the team to come under pressure, but added that he decided to “focus on the process” and not bother too much about what the opposition was thinking.
Pant produced a superb innings of 146 runs off just 111 balls, rescuing India from a precarious position on the opening day in Edgbaston on Friday. His partnership with Ravindra Jadeja (83 not out) started with India struggling at 98/5, eventually helping the team past the 300-run mark with a magnificent 222-run stand for the sixth wicket.
“I was just focusing on the ball. Yes, the pressure was there when we lost three or four wickets early on. Yes, we have to build the partnership but at the same time if we focus on the pressure, we might not get the result. I focus on my process, and that gives me the result most of the time. As a player, I try not to think about what the opposition wants to do. It is more about what I want to do,” said Pant after the day’s play.
“Every match I have to give my hundred per cent and I focus on my cricket. Since my younger days, my coach always says you can hit but you should try to defend also. At the same time, in Test cricket defence is very important. All the time you cannot keep hitting, or you cannot keep defending,” said Pant.
Pant added that he plays the ball on its merit, adding that a bad ball needs to be punished, especially in a place like England, to upset the bowler’s rhythm.
“I focus on the ball. If it has to be defended, I defend it, if there is a chance to hit, I hit it. If the bowler bowls a good ball, respect it. If he bowls a bad ball, put it away. Especially in a place like England, it is important to disturb the line and length of the bowler. As a player I just look to give my hundred per cent. I try to play my percentage. I feel if the ball is there for me to hit it, I back it, that is the only thing I have been focusing on over a period of time,” added Pant.
Pant also said that he was trying to build a partnership with Ravindra Jadeja.
“I tried to stitch a partnership with Jaddu bhai, and we spoke about not losing another wicket and try to build a partnership as big as possible,” added Pant.
Pant, who smashed his fifth Test century, also mentioned that every hundred scored at the international level is an important one.
“As a player, I feel every hundred you make in the international circuit is a big achievement and you feel happy about it. We were practicing well as a team and we got a practice match also, and there was enough time for us to get into the mindset of a Test match. Rahul (Dravid) Bhai told me to play according to the ball, just try to play the situation and not think about what is going to happen. Just focus on one ball at a time,” added Pant.