It is better to give Rishabh Pant a break: Madan Lal
Rishabh Pant was dismissed for a duck in the second innings of the second Test against South Africa.
Updated - Jan 8, 2022 5:51 pm
During the second innings of the second Test against South Africa, India lost wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in quick successions which allowed Rishabh Pant to walk in. The Indian think tank hoped that he would build a partnership along with Hanuma Vihari, who was standing at the other end of the wicket. But, it took only three deliveries for Kagiso Rabada to dismiss him for a duck.
Pant tried to step out and hit Rabada but the ball took an edge of his bat and went straight to Kyle Verreynne. Sunil Gavaskar who was commenting at that time criticized Pant for his unnecessary stroke. Gavaskar was not the only one who blasted Pant for his shot selection at that time, he has been cornered by several former cricketers and Madan Lal is the latest to join the bandwagon.
During an interaction with the Aaj Tak channel, Lal mentioned that there is no doubt that Pant is a match-winner but he can’t bat like the way he did in the second innings. He further added that the wicketkeeper-batter should be given a break to collect his thoughts regarding how he should bat. The 1983 World Cup winner also mentioned that Wriddhiman Saha is waiting for his opportunity and he is a more sensible batter than Pant.
“He should be given a break. And you have someone like Wriddhiman Saha. He is a sensible batsman. He is a very good wicketkeeper. But Pant has to decide how he wants to bat in Test cricket. If there is some doubt in his mind, it is better to give him a break. He is a match-winning player, but you cannot bat like this. You have to bat for the team and not for yourself,” Lal said.
Rishabh Pant has struggled to score runs recently
Pant was the hero of the Gabba breach as he played a match-winning knock of 89 not-out. During the Sydney Test before Gabba, he made 97 runs and India managed to draw that match after the heroics of Ravichandran Ashwin and Vihari. He was brilliant during the home series against England as he made 270 runs in four matches at an average of 54.
But in the last 13 innings, he has managed to score 250 runs and has made only a single half-century. The southpaw has been dismissed for a single-digit score six times in the last seven Test matches. He would definitely love to improve these numbers in the deciding Test match against South Africa in Cape Town.