Rishabh Pant was heavily criticized by prominent former cricketers such as Sunil Gavaskar and Gautam Gambhir for the shot he played on Day 3 in the 2nd Test match between India and South Africa in Johannesburg and eventually lost his wicket. The Indian wicketkeeper batter was out for a duck as he tried to fall off the court and hit Kagiso Rabada over the infield only in the third ball of his innings. Former India-batter Sanjay Manjrekar, however, had a different view. Manjrekar supported Pant, saying there is a “method to his madness” that has brought him success in the past in difficult circumstances such as Australia and England.
The former India batsman said if that shot was played by someone like a Cheteshwar Pujara or Virat Kohli there could have been more control, but as it was Pant who has played that way in the past it shouldn’t cause ripples.
“If you saw a Pujara or a Virat Kohli do that, you’d think something went wrong, but this is Rishabh Pant. He’s done that in the past too. People praised him when he did that reverse slant of Jimmy Anderson played against the second new ball, so that’s the way he plays,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
The former righthanded batter then added that the same approach brought Pant success in England and Australia.
“This is a man who has played two great Test innings in a short career – one in England, one in Australia. During the early innings we’ve seen shots like this by Rishabh Pant. This is how Rishabh Pant plays. This is not that he is brash or careless. There is a method to his madness,” he said.
Manjrekar said Pant probably expected a longer throw from Rabada as the previous two balls had been fired and if the left-hander had connected the attempted swell he would have settled down.
“I’m starting to understand that this guy is pretty sharp here (pointing to the brain). People thought the short ball rattled him. He thought the next ball was going to come straight up. That’s the one he wanted to pick up and I got him seen that in the past. If he connects that ball and if it goes for a four or a six, he’s going to sort of settle down for the next 30-40 minutes. This is a guy who can defend well too. He has no problem with the short ball,” explained the former Indian batter.
“This is Pant’s very unique and risky way of playing cricket. If you get those exciting results from him, and if you accept that, then you have to accept it. This is one of the occupational risks with his batting approach,” he added. to.
India lost the test match by 7 wickets as South Africa tied the series of three matches, making the third test match in Cape Town a decider.
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