Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt slammed Rishabh Pant’s batting approach in the second test match as South Africa beat the visitors to level the series by 1-1. In the second innings, the wicketkeeper batter played a reckless shot to get out on a duck when India desperately needed some runs.

Pant charged down the track against a short-of-length delivery off Kagiso Rabada and ended up edging behind the wicket. The dismissal sparked a debate around the world if a 24-year old has the right temperament to play the longest form of the game.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Speaking on his youtube channel, Salman Butt opined that Pant needs to tweak his game according to match situations. He stated that Pant’s approach (in Johannesburg Test) was irresponsible as India would expect more from the player with 27 Tests experience.

“Definitely, he has to put a price on his wicket. His shot against South Africa was irresponsible. I feel that’s not a confident shot. It’s the other way around. He plays like that due to a lack of confidence. If a player stays at the crease and takes time in the middle, things will get better for him. Pant comes in and starts hitting from the word go,” said Salman Butt on his YouTube channel.

In 27 test matches, Pant scored 1608 runs with an average of 37.39 which included 3 hundreds. He has had a lean patch in Test cricket since his last hundred at Ahmedabad. In 4-match series in England, he scored just 147 runs in 7 innings while in this ongoing series he scored just 59 runs in 4 innings.

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

“When he started, it looked like a confident shot. But this show at present looks more like a ‘lack of confidence’ shot. His approach hasn’t been helped him score runs in recent times. He is a capable player and has a lot of talent. But he isn’t exploring other options to score runs,” he added.

“He is not even lifting his patience levels. That can be harsh on the team and the player himself. He is keeping for a leading Test team after replacing MS Dhoni with the gloves. If you are replacing someone like Dhoni, you need to rethink your strategy. You are in the team because of your talent. But Test cricket has a lot of time to build the innings. If you hit such kinds of shots, you will receive a lot of flak from experts, analysts and fans as well,” he further added.

Pant has had some great success overseas as he scored hundreds in Australia and England. He also scripted the famous win at the Gabba last year to win India the Border Gavaskar Trophy. However, this is his first tour to the rainbow nation. The third test will begin on January 11 as India will be eying their maiden test series win in South Africa.

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