Former India opener Gautam Gambhir, while talking about young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, said that he will play match-winning innings for the Indian team but at the same time he will continue to play rash shots.
The left-handed batsman Pant has received mixed reactions from the fans for his high-risk batting approach in the white-ball and red-ball format. Pant earned heavy praise from fans for his 85-run knock in the second ODI against South Africa but he was criticised for getting out for a golden duck in the third ODI at the Newlands, Cape Town while trying to hit a boundary off the first delivery.
Meanwhile, Gambhir has said that the team management and fans should accept Pant the way he is. He added that Pant will continue his high-risk batting approach as he is not someone like Virat Kohli, who slowly builds his innings.
“You have to accept him the way he is. He will play match-winning innings but also play rash shots like today. If the management is patient to back a player like this, then we can see him getting more opportunities.”
“You live by the sword, you die by the sword. Pant will continue playing in the manner that he’s currently playing. He’s not someone like Virat Kohli, who will slowly build his innings. Yes, the team management can groom Pant to do that but it won’t happen overnight… it will take time,” said Gambhir on Star Sports in the post-match show.
We wanted to see someone like Shreyas Iyer or Suryakumar Yadav finish the match – Gautam Gambhir
India lost the third ODI of the three-match against South Africa by 4 runs while chasing the 288-run target. Skipper KL Rahul got out early but Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli played good knocks. However, the middle-order batters Pant (0), Shreyas Iyer (26) and Suryakumar Yadav (39) failed to play big knocks, which eventually resulted in Deepak Chahar’s 54 runs knock going in vain.
Meanwhile, Gambhir feels that Suryakumar and Iyer lost the golden opportunity to finish off the match for the team.
“If someone like Kohli finishes the match, it’s just another day at the office for him. But we wanted to see someone like Shreyas or Suryakumar finish the match. Had either of the two finished the run-chase, one would have emerged as the winner of the middle-order competition.”
“Kohli previously has won games for India when the required run-rate was over six… but both these youngsters lost a golden opportunity today. A match-winning innings today from Shreyas or Surya would have showcased the ability of both batters to play under pressure situations,” Gambhir further stated.
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