Former India spinner, Pragyan Ojha blames Rishabh Pant for Australia ending Day 1 of the Sydney Test in a dominating position. Pant dropped Australian opener, Will Pucovski twice on the opening day of the third Test at the SCG.
Will Pucovski was given his first reprieve when Rishabh Pant couldn’t hold on to the ball which took the edge of Pucovski’s bat off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin. The right-hander was batting on 26 at that instance.
Three overs later, Pucovski, on 32 then, looking to pull a short ball from Mohammed Siraj which brushed his glove as the wicket-keeper Pant dived to take the catch – the ball once again popped out of his hand. He made another attempt to grab it and claimed the catch, however, on watching replays the third umpire observed the ball to touch the ground and asked the right-hander to continue to bat.
Riding on his luck, the debutant registered his maiden fifty on Test debut and stitched a 100-run stand with Marnus Labuschagne. The hosts end the rain-curtailed day with just 2 wickets down at the score of 166.
Wriddhiman Saha is your number 1 wicket-keeper: Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha laments the dropped catches by Pant and believes that on a flat wicket where batters will score heavy runs, the catches need to be grabbed. The off-spinner reckons the 23-year-old should have taken those chances, the second one being much difficult than the first as the Aussie batters could punish the Indian bowlers on a batting pitch.
“If you drop those catches, especially on a wicket that is so good to bat on and a day 1 wicket then things are totally different [from what was planned]. You know always – the process. Yes, Rishabh Pant is a brilliant batsman but taking catches, getting those 50-50 chances, stumpings, everything behind the stumps. Those things are also important especially when you’re playing against sides like Australia,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.
Ojha maintains that while Pant is a better batsman than Wriddhiman Saha, however, he feels that Saha is the best keeper in the country – hence was preferred in the day-night Test in Adelaide – and should have been backed more.
“That’s the reason I said Wriddhiman Saha was very important. He’s the No.1 wicketkeeper for you. You have to back him,” Ojha added.