Harbhajan Singh has criticized Rishabh Pant saying that hitting sixes is not everything but taking singles and leaving balls are crucial as well after he was dismissed on a three-ball duck in Johannesburg. Pant was dismissed as he stepped down the wicket to attack a delivery by Kagiso Rabada.
India lost the second Test of the series against South Africa and the form of middle order restricted them from building a big total. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara showed some signs of returning back in form. However, Rishabh Pant is still getting dismissed on low scores. He was dismissed on a three-ball duck in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test. Pant tried to play in an aggressive manner by stepping down the wicket to Kagiso Rabada and edging it to the wicketkeeper.
Pant’s approach has been under harsh criticism by several former cricketers and Harabhjan Singh is the new name to join the list. Harbhajan has said that Pant has to understand that taking single nad leaving ball are important as well and hitting sixes is not everything. He also backed the player saying Pant should get more chances.
"I would really want to see Pant getting more chances. He is a match-winner, and the day he plays those innings, he would win India the match. Rahul Dravid needs to speak with him in terms of batting in a certain approach. Smoking sixes is not everything. Taking singles and leaving balls are important too,” Harbhajan said in his Youtube Video
Pant has 1608 runs in 27 Test matches at an average of 37. He played a vital role with his batting in tour to Australia and to England this year. Harbhajan said that Pant can single handedly win the match for the team but also pointed out that he should avoid playing rash shots once in a while.
"Rishabh Pant is a talented player and the kind who can win India matches single-handedly. If an Indian wicketkeeper has played good cricket on overseas pitches, played match-winning innings, it is him. Those innings have come out of his bat. Should we stick with him? Because the kind of shots he has played and the way he has got out. Sometimes I feel those shots were unnecessary. Had he spent more time on the wicket, he could have scored more runs," he stated.
Harbhajan further added that Pant needs to add more discipline to his batting to be more consistent.
"But at the same time, if the same shots click, we say 'What a bold player. He comes with a positive intent from the first ball'. What I feel is that positive intent is one thing… it doesn't mean that you start stepping out and play shots. Even when you play a defensive stroke, that too can be from positive intent. If you go and start swinging your bats and play such shots, question will be raised at you," he concluded.
India will face South Africa in the third Test on January 11 in Cape Town.