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IND vs SA | It’s not bravery, it is stupidity, says Gautam Gambhir about Rishabh Pant’s shot selection

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Rishabh Pant is going through a lean patch in batting currently

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IND vs SA | It’s not bravery, it is stupidity, says Gautam Gambhir about Rishabh Pant’s shot selection

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SportsCafe Desk

01/06/2022

Former India cricketer, Gautam Gambhir has opined that the shot selection by Rishabh Pant in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test was stupidity and not bravery. Gambhir further added that Test cricket is all about how a player reacts and absorbs the pressure.

The second Test of the series between India and South Africa in Johannesburg will most probably get a winner on the penultimate day of the fixture. South Africa are chasing a target of 240 and are poised on 118/2. They will look forward to chase down the target and equalise the series while India will aim to pick the remaining 8 wickets and secure a series win. 

South Africa gained a lead of 27 runs in the first Innings. India scored 266 in the second innings and Rishabh Pant was dismissed for a duck in the innings. He attempted an aggressive shot stepping down the wicket against Kagiso Rabada and the edge was caught by the Wicketkeeper. Former India cricketer, Gautam Gambhir has criticized the shot selection by Pant saying that it was stupidity and not bravery. 

"There wouldn't have been much criticism if he played the same shot in one-day cricket. But given the situation of the game, to play a shot like this… I've always believed that there is a very thin line between bravery and stupidity. You can't call this bravery, it's stupidity,” Gambhir said on Star Sports during lunch interval on day 3.

"Even if you had scored a 25-30 from here and set a 230-240 run-target for South Africa, this game would've been out of their reach. Why do you want to bring South Africa back in the game? You've played in Test cricket for so long, you should know how to absorb such pressure.” 

A sledging incident also erupted between Pant and Rassie van der Dussen regarding Pant’s controversial catch on Day 2. He was heard saying  ‘if you have half knowledge, keep your mouth shut’ to van der Dussen. Gambhir feels that the incident put pressure on Pant and the shot attempted was his reaction to it.

"I like it (the sledging). Humans play cricket, so obviously there will be emotions. It isn't even a sledge. Such things happen. They aren't robots, they can't just bowl and field and come back. But Test cricket is all about how you react to it and absorb the pressure," he explained. 

Reflecting on Pant's catch of van der Dussen, Gambhir said that it is unfair to think that Pant was wrong. 

"As far as Rassie's dismissal is concerned, I agree Rishabh is not at fault because there are two umpires there. If they had any doubts then, they should've referred it to the third umpire. But whatever happened today… I like it. When India come to field, I want them to respond in similar manner. How a batter reacts is entirely in his hands. It was clear today that Rishabh Pant couldn't absorb the pressure because there was no reason to play a shot like that,” he concluded. 

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