Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Credits: Twitter)

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Dinesh Karthik has expressed his opinion on Indian wicketkeeper Risabh Pant’s reckless shot in the second innings of the second ongoing Test against South Africa.

The 36-year-old acknowledged that Rishabh Pant had won several games for his country while playing similarly aggressive shots. However, he conceded that the Delhi-born keeper wasn’t clever about it this time.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Dinesh Karthik Not Liked That The Previous Ball Dictated How Rishabh Pant Played The Next Ball

The wicketkeeper-batter walked out to bat at No. 6 after two quick wickets. Rishabh Pant came to bat at a crucial moment on Day 3. The visitors were then 163-4, just 136 runs in lead. The southpaw was convincingly beaten on the first two balls. Then, in an apparent attempt to put the pressure back on pacer Kagiso Rabada, he charged down the track and went cross-batted against a short ball. But Rishabh Pant only got a thick outside edge to the wicketkeeper.

All eyes were on the pair of him and Hanuma Vihari to extend India’s lead to a significant margin. But to everyone’s surprise, the Indian wicket-keeper batter decided to go after Kagiso Rabada without spending any time on the wicket. He tried a wild slog while charging down the track but ended up losing his wicket in the process.

Dinesh Karthik, who reviewed the day’s play, had his thoughts about the 24-year old’s rash shot on Wednesday. He said a nasty bouncer from South Africa’s pacer Kagiso Rabada before the wicket forced the young batter to make a mistake. Dinesh Karthik also spoke about Rishabh Pant’s bold endeavours, combined with cleverness, which wasn’t the case this time around.

The Chennai-born keeper said: “Definitely let Pant go play his way, which is fine with me. But he’s somebody who’s clever about it, that’s what he has learned in international cricket. What I didn’t like about the shot was the fact that I think the previous ball, which was an absolute snorter, dictated how he played the next ball. Which is not the Rishabh Pant we know.”

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP

He added: “He’s someone who’ll live by the sword, die by the sword. He has won matches doing this but he has been clever about it. He plays a shot which within his repertoire and that what enables him to be successful.

“But this one was more out of a ‘put the bowler on the backfoot’ shot. We use this word – ‘impose himself’. Whereas he is somebody who I feel assesses a situation and then attacks.”

Apart from his quick-fire 34 runs in the first Test, Rishabh Pant hasn’t contributed much with his bat for India in the ongoing series. Rishabh Pant had scored 274 runs at an average of 68.50 in five innings for India against Australia in 2020/21 Down Under.

The keeper continued his form against England at home where he hit 270 runs at an average of 54.00 as he was the second-highest run-getter for India in the series. But since the end of the home Test series against England, Rishabh Pant has played seven Tests, all away from home, and has averaged a mere 19.23.

Dinesh Karthik: Coach Rahul Dravid Won’t Be Happy About Rishabh Pant’s Dismissal

Dinesh Karthik propounded that head coach Rahul Dravid wouldn’t have enjoyed watching the left-hander get out in the ugly fashion he did. While sympathizing that the young batter would be disappointed with his shot selection, Dinesh Karthik observed that the slog could’ve come two overs later.

“We are gonna get dismissals like that but we’d rather get that when we play 10,12, 14 balls. To do that on the third ball with the second ball being an absolute snorter. I do feel that Rahul Dravid won’t be too happy about it. We know how Dravid played his cricket – guts it out, fought it out just like what Pujara Rahane did. Pant would be tad disappointed with the shot option he took,” Karthik concluded.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

With the encounter being evenly poised, it would be fair to say that the Johannesburg Test has been absolutely enthralling to watch. South Africa’s score at Stump’s on Day 3 read 118/2 chasing 240 to win.

The start of the fourth and penultimate day’s play in the second Test between India and South Africa was on Thursday delayed because of rain. South Africa needs 122 runs to win the match and restore parity in the three-match rubber, while the visiting Indians need eight wickets to emerge victoriously and script their maiden Test series win in the Rainbow Nation.