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‘They Throw Wide, and he Keeps Going for it’: Gavaskar Slams Pant, Say Not a Good Sign for India Captain

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Team India levelled the T20I series 2-2 against South Africa on Friday in Rajkot. A superb knock from Dinesh Karthik followed by Avesh Khan’s career-best bowling figures – 4/18 – handed India the biggest T20I win against the Proteas, by 82 runs.

While the team managed to keep the series alive, stand-in captain Rishabh Pant endured another failure with the bat in hand. He scored mere 17 runs off 23 balls before his struggle at the crease was ended by Keshav Maharaj. Notably, the pattern of his dismissal didn’t change; chasing the delivery wide outside off. He looked the clear the fence but ended up getting caught by Dwaine Pretorius.

After getting dismissed, Pant received criticism from former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar for the shot selection. Speaking on Star Sports, the latter said the wicketkeeper-batter hasn’t learnt anything from his past three innings.

“He hasn’t learned. He hasn’t learned from his previous three dismissals. They throw wide, and he keeps going for it. He can’t throw enough muscle on that. He has got to stop looking to go aerial that far outside the off-stump,” said Gavaskar while commentating on the Star Sports network.

“There is no way he’s going to get enough on it. It has gone to short-third! They all plan it, South African bowlers and Temba Bavuma… just bowl wide outside the off-stump and you will get him,” he added.

Gavaskar observed that Pant would never be able to play the shot with enough power as he is very far from the ball, adding that the 24-year-old has been dismissed 10 times this year in T20Is in this manner.

“10 times, he has been dismissed wide outside off-stump (in T20s in 2022). Some of them would’ve been called wide if he hadn’t made contact with it. Because he’s so far away, he has to reach out for it. He will never get enough power on it. To keep getting out in the same series in the same manner, for a captain of the Indian team, that’s not a good sign,” said Gavaskar.

India and South Africa will now lock horns in the series decider on Sunday in Bengaluru.

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