'He is falling prey to South Africa's strategy' - Aakash Chopra analyses Rishabh Pant's batting woes

Pant has scored a total of 57 runs in four T20I in the ongoing series against South Africa.

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Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Former India batter Aakash Chopra opined that India’s stand-in skipper Rishabh Pant has been falling prey to South Africa’s strategy in the ongoing T20I series against the Proteas. Chopra highlighted South African bowlers have been bowling outside off-stump against Pant repeatedly and trapping the dasher.

Chopra said that there were two options to play those deliveries, which were either to shuffle and play over long-off or play it towards the off side. Pant, in the T20I series, has scored a total of only 57 runs in four T20I, with a top score of 29 from the first T20I. “More than his form, he is falling prey to South Africa’s strategy,” said the former opening batter on his YouTube channel. “That’s the big question. The visitors are bowling outside the off-stump repeatedly, and he gets trapped,” he added. 

Rishabh Pant has to get back on the saddle: Chopra

In the first T20I, Pant was dismissed by pacer Anrich Nortje after he tried to reach the slower ball outside off-stump, guiding it straight to the sweeper. In the second T20I, he fell for a wide delivery on the offside bowled by spinner Keshav Maharaj, which he tried to reach out to before slicing it high and onto a fielder. 

In the third game, Pant tried to chip one on offside as the ball was angled on the middle and off stump region by Dwaine Pretorius. And once again, he found the fielder in the mid-off region. In the fourth game, the Indian captain slashed hard at a ball that was wider than the tramline, bowled by Maharaj. It found the top edge and once again was caught by a fielder.

“As we have discussed already, there are two options to play those deliveries. Either you move a bit and play it over long-off or play it down the ground towards the off side,” Chopra added. “Getting out, in the same way, is a big question. He might be the captain for now, but who knows because this Team India keeps changes on the basis of individual performances. So, Pant has to get back on the saddle because after this he won’t play in Ireland. Instead, he will go to England for the 5th Test. He needs the form,” analysed Chopra. 

The fifth T20I will be played on June 19 (Sunday) in M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.

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