Calling him a "very good" skipper, Graeme Smith praised Rishabh Pant for his decision-making during the first T20I against South Africa despite India losing the game. The former South African skipper said Rishabh Pant made the right calls during the first game of the series against South Africa.
Rishabh Pant captained the Indian team for the first time in his career when he took the field against South Africa in the first T20I at the Arun Jaitley stadium in New Delhi. India batted first and put up a huge total of 211 after Ishan Kishan's brilliant show with the bat as he scored 76 off 48 balls which included eleven boundaries and three sixes. Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya played important knocks to help India finish strongly. But, David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen's partnership in the second innings proved to be match-winning for the South African team.
Former South African skipper Graeme Smith talked about Rishabh Pant's captaincy after India lost the game. Smith was interested in watching Rishabh Pant's captaincy, especially after the IPL where Pant's side had lost a must-win game against Mumbai Indians. Pant had made a few errors during the game which resulted in Delhi Capitals losing the game.
“You always criticise a captain when you lose. He has to take a lot on his chin. Post his (Pant's) last game for Delhi Capitals, which was a must-win and he made some tough calls in that match, I was very interested to watch him. But I think tonight, he was very good. He went to the right people at the right time. He tried to stay in the game,” Graeme Smith said while analysing Pant's captaincy on Star Sports.
He further explained this by referring to the incidents that happened during the game. Smith pointed out that when South Africa was under pressure, he made the right calls by going to his main bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel and this should help him game some confidence.
“When South Africa were under pressure, he went to Harshal Patel and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar). All in all, he made a lot of right decisions. At times, they won't work out because your bowlers have to deliver; you have to execute. But I think he can look back and say, ‘I made the right decisions at the right time’. I think he can gain some confidence after his outing this evening,” Smith added.