Shutting down all the outside noise and criticism around his average keeping in Down Under, Rishabh Pant played arguably his best Test knock under pressure to keep Team India in the hunt in the third Test against Australia in Sydney on Monday. Coming in to bat at No.5 after the fall of captain Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket, Pant played an outstanding counter-attacking knock of 97 off just 117 balls to provide a glimmer of hope to the visiting tea. During his knock, the 23-year-old Pant made a few records as he pipped some of the greats of the game including – former India skipper MS Dhoni and Syed Kirmani.

Pant has gone past Dhoni and Kirmani to become India’s leading run-scorer as a wicketkeeper in Australia in Test Cricket as an Asian. He also became the youngest wicket-keeper (23 years and 95 days) to score 50+ runs in the fourth innings of a Test in Australia. He beat the record of former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy who was 24 years and 216 days when he achieved the feat.

The Roorkee-born batsman also gone past Sir Viv Richards to claim another record. Pant made a record of scoring the most consecutive 25+ scores as a visiting batsman Down Under. He went past West Indies batting legend Richards, England’s Wally Hammond and India’s Rusi Surti who had crossed the 25-run mark on eight occasions.

Here’s how the Twitterverse responded after the wicketkeeper’s blazing knock against a top-quality Australian bowling attack.

However, Pant fell short of three runs of what could have been his third Test century. He spliced a catch to Pat Cummins in gully off Nathan Lyon just three short of his three-figure mark. Pant’s dismissal brought to an end a 148-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara for the fourth wicket with India still needing 157 runs to win the third Test. The Delhi wicketkeeper’s blazing know drew plaudits from a lot of people on social media.

India now need 127 runs to win but, in all probability, will be looking to survive 36 overs in the final session of the match to salvage a draw.

Pant – 97 – and Pujara – 77 – added 148 runs for the fourth wicket in an amazing counter-attacking partnership before their dismissals put India in a spot with an injured Hanuma Vihari in the company of Ravichandran Ashwin – 7 batting engaged in an arduous battle.

There was method to the madness in Pant’s exhilarating innings in which he hit 12 fours and three sixes off 118 balls. His ‘cat and mouse’ game with the world’s best off-spinner Nathan Lyon was one for the ages.

It was Lyon, who had the last laugh though when Pant’s desperation to get to the three-figure mark before the second new ball saw him try to hit the spinner against the turn.