Legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar has slammed the shot selection of skipper Rishabh Pant in the T20I series, saying that the wicketkeeper-batter has to stop looking for aerial shots against balls that are outside the off-stump.
In the ongoing T20I series against South Africa, Pant has made scores of 29, 5, 6, and 17. But the left-hander has repeatedly fallen for the wide outside the off-stump trap laid for him by the South Africa bowlers trying to bowl away from his hitting arc.
On all four occasions in the series, Pant has tried to play big shots against balls far outside the off-stump but he lost some bit of his balance after playing the shot and was caught out on all four occasions in the off-side.
“He hasn’t learned. He hasn’t learned from his previous three dismissals. They throw wide, and he keeps going for it. He can’t throw enough muscle on that. He has got to stop looking to go aerial that far outside the off-stump,” said Gavaskar while commentating on the fourth T20I in Rajkot.
In Rajkot, Pant struggled to break free and when he tried to slap a wide the off-stump ball from left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj over the off-side, he was caught at short third man. “There is no way he’s going to get enough on it. It has gone to short-third (man)! They all plan it, South African bowlers and Temba Bavuma… just bowl wide outside the off-stump and you will get him,” added Gavaskar.
Gavaskar pointed out that Pant’s pattern of similar dismissals repeating itself is not good news for the Indian team. “10 times he has been dismissed wide outside off-stump (in T20 matches this year). Some of them would have been called wide if he hadn’t made contact with it.
“Because he’s so far away, he has to reach out for it. He will never get enough power on it. To keep getting out in the same series in the same manner, for a captain of the Indian team, that’s not a good sign.”