Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant has been under fire after the first day of the third Test between India and Australia in Sydney. He dropped debuting Australian opener Will Pucovski twice and former Australian captain, Ricky Ponting has criticized Rishabh Pant over the dropped catches.
Will Pucovski didn’t look very comfortable facing spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. The opener looked all set to exit at 26 runs when he edged the India off-spinner behind, only for Pant to drop the ball cold. The debutant added 6 runs more to his tally when Pant granted him another lifeline. This time however, Pant scurried back and leapt high to reach the ball. Unfortunately he was adjudged by the third umpire to have tapped it on the ground and Pucovski was recalled to the crease.
Former Australian batsman Ricky Ponting has blasted Rishabh Pant over his keeping skills. He further said that the 23-year old was lucky that Pucovski didn’t go on to hit a big score. “The one’s (dropped catches) today are two that should be taken, simple as that,” Ponting said.
“It’s probably lucky for Rishabh that Pucovski didn’t go on and make a big hundred or a double hundred and looking at the wicket, it looks like an unbelievable surface,” he told cricket.com.au. “I’m sure when Rishabh put those catches down, he would have thought the worst and ‘here we go, he’s really going to make me pay’ but (Pucovski) didn’t today,” he added.
‘The knock on Rishabh is always going to be on his keeping’
Ricky Ponting was the head coach of Delhi Capitals, the team Rishabh Pant played for in IPL 2020. Ponting said on Thursday that since Pant’s debut in Test cricket he has dropped more catches than any other keeper in the world. “I’ve said it all along, the knock on Rishabh is always going to be on his keeping,” he said. “Since his debut in Test cricket, he’s dropped more catches than any other keeper in the world. That highlights he has got some work to do with his keeping,” he added.
Will Pucovski replaced Matthew Wade as Australia’s second opener for the third Test in Sydney. The debutant made an impressive score of 62 off 100 balls. He was a part of the 100-run partnership for the 2nd wicket with Marnus Labuschagne after Australia lost David Warner for 5 runs to Mohammad Siraj.
Ponting further praised the 22-year old’s temperament. “The thing I liked most was his composure. He looked really composed, he didn’t look overawed at all,” he said.
Ponting said that the debutant trusted his game. “He looked like he trusted his game, trusted his defence early on against some good fast bowling and just before the tea break started to expand his game a little bit; (he played) some nice cut shots, back-foot punches and some nice pull shots. It’s a great start,” he added.
Australia reached 166 for 2 at stumps with Labuschagne (67) along with Steve Smith (31) at the end of day’s play.