India’s flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has come under heavy scrutiny following his 3-ball duck in the second innings on Day 3 of the second Test in Johannesburg. It’s the way Pant got out that has had Sunil Gavaskar and the fans complaining. After facing just two balls, the southpaw charged down to Kagiso Rabada, who was bowling superbly having got the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
Pant had a wild slash at the delivery that was angled away from him, looking for the off-side fence. However, he could only manage an edge through to the wicketkeeper. India suffered a middle-order collapse, and Pant was expected to bat better than he did.
Sunil Gavaskar felt that the choice of such an aggressive shot would have been justified had Pant settled himself first, something which he did in Australia last year and eventually played a couple of scintillating innings.
“This is something one could understand if Rishabh Pant had been batting on 30 and 40. This is something he had not done in Australia. There he applied himself, recognised that there will be hard times at the beginning when you come in to bat and then battling through the hard times, he got set and got to know how the pitch is. And then he played the big shots. That’s what he did in Australia,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
The 72-year-old pointed out that Pant was able to attack even the likes of James Anderson in the home series, but felt that the youngster’s game has gone awry since Team India toured England.
Sunil Gavaskar believes that head coach Rahul Dravid should rebuke the 24-year-old so that he doesn’t do the same mistake in the future.
“This is something we saw against England, at the start of the series. When England came to India, he was jumping down the pitch and trying to hit James Anderson… he did that so well. But after that he seems to think that is the only way to play. That is not the way to play and I am pretty certain that in the change room, Rahul Dravid would have given him a hearing, or as they say in cricket, Dravid must have given him a ‘bamboo’,” the commentator added.
India handed South Africa a target of 240 runs, of which they have cut down 118 by the end of Day 3 for the loss of 2 wickets.