Team India started off brilliantly on Day 3 of the ongoing second Test against South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. The experienced pair of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane batted with positive intent and formed a century partnership to increase the tourists’ lead.
Both Pujara and Rahane smashed respective half-centuries and were looking to build the partnership further before Kagiso Rabada brought back Proteas in the game. Rabada dismissed both the set batters to reduce India to 163/4, and all eyes were set on the pair of Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant to take the visitors out of hot waters.
However, Pant failed to live up to the expectations, as he fell without spending much time in the middle. The manner in which the Indian wicketkeeper-batter lost his wicket attracted a lot of criticism, even from former India captain Sunil Gavaskar.
Pant fell on a three-ball duck while going for a glory shot dancing down the track against Rabada. He only ended up getting a nick to the wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne. After the poor dismissal, Gavaskar lambasted Pant for throwing his wicket when his presence was extremely crucial for India.
Gavaskar reckoned that when two batters are new at the crease, one should not play the attacking shot. The cricketer-turned-commentator felt there was no excuse for that shot from Pant, not even the fact that the Indian keeper was playing his natural game.
“You have got two new batsmen at the crease, and then you saw that shot from Rishabh Pant. Forgettable, no excuses for that shot, no excuses. None of that nonsense about that being his natural game,” said Gavaskar in the commentary box.
Gavaskar asserted that Pant should have shown some sort of responsibility, especially after senior batters like Pujara and Rahane fought hard to put India on top.
“There is supposed to be a bit of responsibility shown. Because others are taking the blows. There are guys like Rahane and Pujara who have taken it on their body. So you also fight it out. I tell you what, you won’t get too many kind words in the changing room,” added Gavaskar.
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