Former Pakistani cricketer Salman Butt has said Indian goalkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant played an irresponsible shot against South Africa in the second test.
India lost to the Proteas by seven wickets after failing to defend the 240-point goal in the second inning against a resolute strike order led by Dean Elgar.
India were eliminated for 266, with a 239 lead in the second inning after senior hitters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara took their fight in the opening session on Day 3.
Rahane and Pujara were both sacked by Kagiso Rabada in quick succession with the onus being left on Pant to step up India’s lead in order to set a huge goal for the Proteas.
In the 39th of the second round of India, Rabada threw a short ball at Pant who slashed his gloves but didn’t go airy. But on the next delivery, Pant descended on the track to crush Rabada’s short ball, which he had a slight advantage over his counterpart Kyle Verreynne behind the stumps.
Rishabh Pant plays like this for lack of confidence: Salman Butt
Butt said Pant put a price on his wicket by playing a timid stroke and felt the batter should settle in the crease first and attack the bowlers later.
“Decidedly, he must put a price on his counter. His shot against South Africa was irresponsible. I think it’s not a sure hit. It’s the opposite. He plays like that for lack of confidence. If a player stays in the crease and takes time in the middle, things will improve for them. Pant comes in and starts hitting right off the bat, ”Butt said on his YouTube channel.
“When he started it looked like a sure hit. But this show looks more like a “lack of confidence” shot. His approach hasn’t helped him score any points lately. He’s a capable player and he’s very talented. But he does not explore other options to score points, ”he added.
Rishabh Pant doesn’t even raise his patience level: Salman Butt
Pant made his testing debut for India in 2018 and went on to appoint Wriddhiman Saha as India’s premier wicket keeper due to his ability to score smoothly.
Time and time again, Pant has faced the wrath of his critics for not showing enough maturity. Butt said the southpaw needs to find his time in the crease and build his sleeves to avoid criticism from everyone.
“He doesn’t even raise his patience levels. It can be hard… for the team and the player himself. He remains on a top test team after replacing MS Dhoni with the gloves, ”Butt said.
“If you are replacing someone like Dhoni, you have to rethink your strategy. You are in the team because of your talent… but Test cricket has a lot of time to build the heats. If you hit those kinds of shots, you’ll also get a lot of criticism from pundits, analysts and fans, ”he added.
India will play South Africa in the third test at Newlands in Cape Town, the match starts on January 11. The three-game test streak is currently locked in at 1-1.
Read also: IND vs SA: Sunil Gavaskar believes Rishabh Pant’s sacking was not the reason for India’s loss, says “other batsmen did not help”