'Asked Rishabh few questions. Maybe he didn't enjoy it too much': Van der Dussen opens up on sledging incident with Pant

  • For the first time since the exchanges took place, van der Dussen opened up on the incident, explaining how he never crossed the line with Pant and that his act was nothing more than the customary chat two players from opposition teams generally have.
Rassie Van der Dussen talks to Rishabh Pant. (Screengrab)
Rassie Van der Dussen talks to Rishabh Pant. (Screengrab)
Published on Jan 18, 2022 01:34 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

In the second Test in Johannesburg, tempered flared between South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen of South Africa and Rishabh Pant of India when the two players had a go at each other through the course of the match. It all began when Pant took a catch to dismiss Van der Dussen in the first innings and the South Africa batsman tried to distract the India wicketkeeper while he was batting. Like a chain reaction, it continued in South Africa's second innings as Pant chirped away hoping to get inside Van der Dussen's skin.

Eventually, one has got to believe that Van der Dussen emerged on the right side of the confrontation shortly after his chat with Pant, the 23-year-old was out caught behind. For the first time since the exchanges took place, van der Dussen opened up on the incident, explaining how he never crossed the line with Pant and that his act was nothing more than the customary chat two players from opposition teams generally have.

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"It was a moment. I asked Rishabh [Pant] a few questions. Maybe he didn't enjoy it too much. I'm not sure why. But there was certainly no hostility from my end. Maybe the way he took it - offence is taken and not given. I was at a nice position at short leg. I had access to him in that sense," the South Africa batsman said on ESPNCricinfo.

"And I could ask him a few questions. There was never any hostility. And from there, it just sort of blew up. When I went out to bat, they reciprocated quite nicely. It's part of the game. It's Test cricket. It's tough out there, and everyone's trying to level basically to gain an inch."

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A 'competitive' Van der Dussen added that he’s always been one to take a step backwards when it comes to on-field contributions. Crediting the trait to the cricket surrounding he grew up it, the 32-year-old admits he enjoys banter every now differentiating it with sledging and highlighted how there is a fine line between the two.

"I enjoyed it. By nature, I am quite competitive. Growing up in a club cricket system in Pretoria, which is very hostile in terms of verbals, I've never been one to shy away from a bit of banter. The Indians called it sledging. I would never call it that. These days with cameras and stump mics, we don't really know what sledging is but I did enjoy it. I'm always the type of guy - I play hard on the field. I'm obviously never going to be personal," he explained.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022