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‘Off-side trap’ advice for captain Rishabh Pant

Sunil Gavaskar asks the southpaw to be wise with his shot selection
Rishav Pant
Rishav Pant
File picture

Our Bureau   |   Published 19.06.22, 12:54 AM

Sunil Gavaskar has asked Rishabh Pant to be wise with his shot selection as he thinks that opposition bowlers have figured out how to dismiss the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Pant, of late, has had a torrid time with the bat. He had an ordinary IPL and now, in the ongoing T20I series against South Africa, his sequence of scores reads 29, 5, 6 and 17.

Gavaskar says Pant has frequently fallen victim to the trap outside the off-stump as he tries to go for big shots and that he refuses to learn despite repeated failures.

“He hasn’t learned. He hasn’t learned from his previous three dismissals,” Gavaskar said while commentating on Star Sports, referring to the way Pant got dismissed in the fourth T20I against the Proteas on Friday. Pant chased a Keshav Maharaj delivery which otherwise would have been a wide and top-edged it to short third-man.

“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.

“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 (captain) Temba Bavuma… just bowl wide outside the off-stump and you will get him,” the former India captain explained.

Gavaskar criticised Pant for being reckless. “Ten times, he has been dismissed wide outside off-stump (in T20s in 2022). Some of them would have 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.

Captaining the side in the absence of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, Pant will have to marshal his resources well in Bangalore on Sunday, when India take on South Africa in the deciding match of the series.

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