Cricket has quite a few unwritten rules and one among them is ‘never run off a misfield.’ But in a moment of madness today, Kohli willfully chose to forget the precious rule. After a hasty Buttler misfield, Kohli forced Pant to run a non-existent third and it resulted in the demise of the southpaw.
Walking in to bat with India 24/3 in the 6th over, Pant picked up things from right where he left in the second T20I, where he struck a 13-ball 26. After playing watchfully for 10 balls, he decided to take on the leggie Adil Rashid and struck back-to-back boundaries to put pressure back on England. Pant’s onslaught not only gave India hope of posting a competitive score but he, himself, looked set for a big score.
Everything changed on the first ball of the 12th over, though. Of all people, Pant was sold down the river by his own skipper, Virat Kohli.
As Sam Curran bowled a length delivery outside off, Pant punched it towards the cover region. The pace on the ball was minimal and the placement was good, so it allowed both the batters to take two runs. The second run was touch and go, and though Pant eventually reached comfortably, the wicket-keeper Jos Buttler tried a cheeky flick to dismiss the southpaw. He failed in doing so, but what he ended up doing in the process was putting the ball in no man’s land, with no fielder anywhere near it.
Now generally, it is not wise to attempt to steal an extra run but Virat Kohli had other ideas. Sensing there was an opportunity to convert a 2 into 3, he took off immediately and forced Pant, too, to return for a third. Now you could argue Kohli was being ‘smart’, but the problem here was that Pant was well behind the crease when Kohli called for the third; he’d literally switched off, thinking the job was done.
But as Kohli called for the third, Pant, who simply did not want to say ‘no’, took off for the third. To his dismay, the keeper, Buttler, rushed to the ball and sent in a rocket throw towards the bowlers’ end and the southpaw saw himself fall well short of the crease.
The scorecard reads Rishabh Pant run out (Buttler/Sam Curran) 25(20) [4s-3] but really, it is Rishabh Pant run out (Virat Kohli).
India are just throwing wickets away
@PuntingDude how stupid a captain is kohli...Running out Rishabh Pant😡— Naveed Siddique !! 🇮🇳 (@Navva2003) March 16, 2021
Chalo aaj to Virat Kohli ne Rishabh Pant ko bhi run-out karwa diya!🙂👏— Dhaval Balai (@DhavalBalai) March 16, 2021
Pant should've said no