Shikhar Dhawan comes out in support of Rishabh Pant after latter's poor keeping in Mohali

Shikhar Dhawan comes out in support of Rishabh Pant after latter’s poor keeping in Mohali

Pant didn't have the greatest of days with the keeping gloves in Mohali.

Rishabh Pant vs Australia
Rishabh Pant vs Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Indian team tasted back-to-back defeats in Ranchi and Mohali and now the series will be decided in the fifth and final ODI in Delhi on March 13. Australia completed the highest run chase ever in India as they chased down 358 in 50 overs thanks to a century from Peter Handscomb and a grand finish by Ashton Turner.

Shikhar Dhawan made 143 and Rohit Sharma slammed 95 runs in the Indian innings and helped the team reach such a big total. However, Kohli miscalculated the dew factor and in the second innings, heavy dew made it extremely difficult for the spinners to grip the ball and dropped catches and misfields didn’t help India’s cause either.

Did India miss MS Dhoni behind the stumps?

MS Dhoni is a revered figure in Indian cricket ever since he made his debut and enthralled everyone with his big hitting abilities. He later transformed into the greatest captain India has ever had with two World Cups under his belt and a Champions Trophy title to boast of.

However, he might have easily played his last international game for India in front of his home crowd. In the Mohali ODI, what the team and fans missed was MS Dhoni behind the stumps, as Rishabh Pant failed to hold onto catches and missed two stumpings and looked uneasy with the gloves under pressure in the last 10 overs.

Mohali crowd boos Pant

His ordeal became so bad that even the Indian supporters began booing Pant and chants of Dhoni, Dhoni echoed in the ground. It all started when in the 44th over of the Australian innings, Rishabh Pant managed to bungle a stumping chance of Ashton Turner when the batsman was on 38. Unfortunately for Pant, Turner went on to play a match-winning knock of 84 from just 43 balls and help Australia level the 5-match series at 2-2.

Pant then tried to make up for the missed stumping by attempting a flick to the stumps to run Alex Carey out in the third ball of Yuzvendra Chahal’s over. However, Pant missed the target and conceded an extra run to Australia. Things only got worse for Pant in the over, as he pushed Kohli to use the DRS review against Turner. However, the review was wasted as the on-field decision of not out stayed and Australia were on the course of winning the match.

Dhawan defends young Pant

However, Pant found some solace in the fact that the team was fully behind him and Dhawan defended the young wicket-keeper. “Rishabh is a young bloke and like any other youngster, you have to give time to him. Rishabh is still finding his feet. You cannot compare Pant to Dhoni [bhai], given the experience he has having played over the years,” Dhawan was quoted by the media.

He said yes, the stumping would have changed the course of the game and the missed chance proved the final nail in the coffin of India’s defeat in Mohali. Dhawan also blamed the dew as he admitted the team management had failed to read the condition properly and thought that there would be no dew in Mohali and hence chose to bat first.

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