Former India skipper and legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar feels that Rishabh Pant must have gotten a “bamboo” from head coach Rahul Dravid after he perished for a three-ball duck against South Africa in Johannesburg while charging down the track against an on-song Kagiso Rabada, only for his wild heave to take a faint edge before settling into the keeper’s hands.
Interestingly, Pant was caught off guard only on the previous ball when he awkwardly fended a nasty short ball from Rabada. Rattled by the same, he let the bowler win both the mental and on-field battle as he fell while attempting a counterattacking response. At the time, India had only recently lost the wickets of set batters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, leading the batter to cop severe flak for his shot selection.
Gavaskar recalled instances when Pant attempted such shots, but went on to highlight that on all those instances, he got his eyes in before trying something adventurous, unlike the instance in Johannesburg, when the southpaw went after the bowler on just his third ball after walking in.
Rahul Dravid would have given Pant a hearing: Sunil Gavaskar
“It’s a valid question. This is something one could understand if Rishabh Pant had been batting on 30 and 40. This is something he had not done in Australia. There he applied himself, recognised that there will be hard times in the beginning when you come in to bat and then battling through the hard times, he got set and got to know how the pitch is. And then he played the big shots. That’s what he did in Australia,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
“This is something we saw against England, at the start of the series. When England came to India, he was jumping down the pitch and trying to hit James Anderson… he did that so well. But after that, he seems to think that is the only way to play. That is not the way to play and I am pretty certain that in the change room, Rahul Dravid would have given him a hearing, or as they say in cricket, Dravid must have given him a ‘bamboo’,” added Gavaskar.