Former Indian cricketer Ajit Agarkar reckons that Rishabh Pant lost his batting rhythm after being hit on the elbow during the third day of the Sydney Test between India and Australia.
On Saturday, after the early fall of Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant was setting up a crucial partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara. In the 85th over off Pat Cummin’s bowl, the wicketkeeper-batsman tried to play the pull shot but in the process, got hit on the elbow. After which he was spotted in too much pain but he continued his batting. He brought up a fifty run partnership before losing his wicket to Hazlewood. Rishabh Pant scored 36 runs off 67 balls in which he struck four fours.
During a discussion on the Sony Sports network, Ajit Agarkar and Sanjay Manjrekar shared their views on the adverse impact the blow had on Rishabh Pant’s innings.
The former Indian pacer said that Pant was looking calm and composed before trying to hit the pull shot off the new ball which ended up in him getting injured.
“He was batting well. He was looking calm till the time he was hit on the elbow. The ball that hit him kicked up a little as it was the new ball. It felt for the first time that he wanted to pull even though he was on the front foot. His batting rhythm changed slightly after he was hit. Before that, it was not looking like he will play the sort of shot he got out to,” said Ajit Agarkar.
I was surprised that Rishabh Pant continued playing despite being in so much pain: Ajit Agarkar
Agarkar added that Rishabh Pant should have gone back to the dressing room and continued with his innings later had he been a lot in pain. He added that the in-form Ravindra Jadeja could have taken the field and Pant could have returned later after getting proper treatment.
“I couldn’t understand if he had that much pain, he could have gone in and come back later because Jadeja who is in good form could have come and played and probably India might have benefited because of that. So, I was surprised that he continued playing despite being in so much pain,” added Agarkar.
Although Rishabh Pant has played decent knocks while batting at middle order, Ajit Agarkar hopes that the youngster could convert his knock to big ones.
“He made a contribution but the expectation is that if you bat at No.6 and have made 30-35 runs, you go on and post a big score,” pointed out Ajit Agarkar.
After getting hit, Pant didn’t keep the wicket in the second innings of Australia while Wriddhiman Saha replaced him. As per reports, Rishabh Pant had not sustained any major injury and will likely be available to play in the second innings.
Currently, Australia has the upper hand in the game as they are leading by 197 runs at the loss of both the openers.