‘He was jumping out and swinging his bat’: Aakash Chopra says Pant ‘was batting like a millionaire’ in WTC Final
The dismissal of Rishab Pant on the reserve day of the World Test Championship Final in Southampton was one of the biggest turning points for India. The wicketkeeper-batsman anchored the inning brilliantly before he decided to charge against New Zealand pacer Trent Boult. He moved down the track to heave Boult for a big shot but edged it high up in the air and Henry Nicholls took an excellent catch at point.
Pant was out on 41 and his dismissal shattered all the hopes of India piling up enough runs to challenge Kane Williamson's New Zealand. India managed to put just 14 runs to their total thereafter and were bowled out for 170, leaving Kiwis a paltry target of 139 in 53 overs.
Former cricketer Aakash Chopra expressed his disappointment over Pant’s approach in the situation when the team needed him play sensibly. In his latest video on YouTube, Chopra said,
“Rishabh Pant was batting like a millionaire. There was a question there, is it just my way or the highway or is this just the way Rishabh Pant bats. Or was Rishabh Pant trapped in his own reputation that Pant bats like that?”
“We have seen him bat extremely well, seen him excel. We remember the Sydney Test match where he hit a century earlier and now the 97 he made. We remember the Gabba Test where he made 89 not out. We talk about the two centuries against England, one at the Oval and the other in India. We have seen match-winning knocks from him but not seen him bat like this there,” he added.
Pant walked out to bat after India lost the likes of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in the morning session. The youngster has made a rapport of taking the risk in crunch situations. He looked to do something similar against the Kiwis but failed terribly.
Commenting on Pant’s shot selection, Chopra said, “To step out and hit the fast bowler, he doesn't even do this in the IPL. In IPL history, he has actually done it only once. He stepped out to Shivam Mavi and hit him for a six. He does give the bowlers a beating but in a different fashion. On this day, he was jumping out and swinging his bat.”
New Zealand defeated India in the inaugural WTC final by 8 wickets to become the world champions.