Former Indian cricketers RP Singh and Pragyan Ojha slammed Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant’s batting performance against the Punjab Kings in IPL 2022 on Monday. RP Singh felt the youngster was in a position to control the innings after hitting a six but threw his wicket against Liam Livingstone.
The Capitals, as a result, had to settle for a below-par total of 159/7 in the first innings of the match.
Pant’s dismissal occurred in the 12th over, an over after Lalit Yadav departed. The skipper started his innings sensationally with a one-handed six off Livingstone. However, the southpaw threw his wicket away on the very next delivery. Livingstone slipped one wide and the left-hander missed and got stumped as he scored just seven runs in the match.
Speaking in the mid-innings on Cricbuzz Live, RP Singh stated that it was a blunder by Pant to fall into the trap as it affected the team. The former purple cap winner claimed that the skipper had a chance to return to form and he missed it. He said:
“As a captain, it’s your responsibility to stay there and he shouldn’t have fallen into the trap. As spectators, we love it when there’s a battle out there. But the team suffers at the end of it. He had hit a six; hence, another big shot was not needed because if you see he hasn’t done too well in this tournament.”
“He has always had a penchant for playing explosive knocks but we haven’t seen it here. Today, he had a chance as it was a critical game. You expect the captain or the main player to blaze away and pull us out of trouble. However, he perished and the Capitals managed 159. The team management also has to think about how Pant has to approach his innings.”
The 36-year old added that DC’s momentum had slowed down a little when Pant came in but he still should’ve batted responsibly. Singh said:
“The situation in which he had come, the run-scoring had slowed down and the momentum had shifted. Sarfaraz Khan and Mitchell Marsh created that momentum and while Lalit cannot be held so much responsible, the buck lies with the captain. He had hit a six and there’s no problem in taking a single after a maximum. Another four and the over could have gone for 11 runs.”
The Capitals’ innings didn’t have a bright start as David Warner perished for a golden duck. However, Marsh and Khan brought the team back into the game with a quickfire 51-run stand. However, the Kings came back well late in the innings as Marsh top-scored with 63.
Pragyan Ojha dissects Rishabh Pant’s failure against PBKS
Meanwhile, Pragyan Ojha joined RP Singh in criticizing the youngster for failing to control the innings despite having time. The former Mumbai Indians spinner thinks the keeper-batter has to do more as a senior player, saying:
“Pant may have batted at number four, but when he was in a position to take control of the game, he faltered. It’s understandable if only 2-3 overs are left and he’s going for runs; however, when he could control the innings and has done it before, he couldn’t. We may say that Lalit Yadav lacks international experience, but we are talking about a captain here. We are talking about a player who has the potential to captain India or become a match-winner in the future.”
The 33-year old warned that players don’t become match-winners by playing brief cameos, adding:
“Match-winner is not who strikes four sixes in four balls. A match-winner must know how to save the game or control it. Hence, it’s a chance missed by Rishabh Pant only for a small battle. Punjab brought that bowler at that point, knowing Pant’s wicket would be a game-changer and that a few runs wouldn’t matter much.”
Nevertheless, the Capitals carved out a 17-run victory by restricting the Kings to 142-9. Shardul Thakur was the pick of the bowlers with 4-0-36-4 and was named the ‘Manof the Match’.