Team India wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant has managed to earn the wrath of critics for his lack of fight against South Africa in the second Test match. The 24-year-old played a needless aggressive shot against Kagiso Rabada and was dismissed for a duck. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane had done all the hard yards and managed to stitch a crucial 111-run stand. However, Pant failed to cash in on a golden opportunity to drive home the advantage. His lack of runs proved to crucial factor as the hosts chased down the target of 241 with relative ease.
Sunil Gavaskar and Gautam Gambhir criticized the wicketkeeper batter for his dismissal as they felt it was an irresponsible shot. Jumping into the bandwagon, former India all-rounder Madan Lal has also questioned Pant’s batting in Test cricket. He felt the southpaw should take a break from the longest format of the game.
Speaking on Aaj Tak, Lal said, “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.”
Apart from the former all-rounder, even head coach Rahul Dravid spoke about Pant and told he should be giving more time before unleashing his shots. Dravid said the wicketkeeper batter also needed to figure out when is the right time to attack.
"We know Rishabh plays positively and he plays in a particular manner and that has got him a little bit of success. But yeah, of course, there are times when we're going to have some level of conversations with him around, just a little bit of maybe just selection of the time to play that [shot]," Dravid said during the post-match press conference on Thursday.