'Smoking sixes is not everything. Taking singles and leaving balls are crucial too': Harbhajan gives his verdict on Pant

  • Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has given his take on the debate surrounding Rishabh Pant and his shot selection.
Harbhajan Singh has his say on Rishabh Pant and his shot selection. (Getty Images)
Harbhajan Singh has his say on Rishabh Pant and his shot selection. (Getty Images)
Published on Jan 11, 2022 07:33 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has given his take on the debate surrounding Rishabh Pant and his shot selection. Pant came under fire for attempting a bold shot early into his innings during the second Test at Johannesburg, trying to give the charge to Lungi Ngidi and getting out caught behind for a three-ball duck.

Weighing in on the same, Harbhajan feels these rash shots which Pant plays once in a while is not needed and that while there is no doubt that the 23-year-old possesses a wealth of knowledge, the young wicketkeeper batter should try and spend more time before switching gears.

"Rishabh Pant is a talented player and the kind who can win India matches single-handedly. If an Indian wicketkeeper has played good cricket on overseas pitches, played match-winning innings, it is him. Those innings have come out of his bat. Should we stick with him? Because the kind of shots he has played and the way he has got out. Sometimes I feel those shots were unnecessary. Had he spent more time on the wicket, he could have scored more runs," Harbhajan said on his YouTube video.

Adding to the matter, Harbhajan pointed out how many may attribute Pant's shots to 'positive intent', but the exact term may not always mean aggressive batting. The former India spinner reckons that Pant is a match-winner, but in order for him to live up to that moniker and add more consistency to his batting, the 23-year-old batter needs to add more discipline, for which coach it would not be a bad idea for coach Rahul Dravid to have a word with him. 

"But at the same time, if the same shots click, we say 'What a bold player. He comes with a positive intent from the first ball'. What I feel is that positive intent is one thing… it doesn't mean that you start stepping out and play shots. Even when you play a defensive stroke, that too can be from positive intent. If you go and start swinging your bats and play such shots, question will be raised at you," added Harbhajan.

"I would really want to see Pant getting more chances. He is a match-winner, and the day he plays those innings, he would win India the match. Rahul Dravid needs to speak with him in terms of batting in a certain approach. Smoking sixes is not everything. Taking singles and leaving balls are important too."

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Monday, January 24, 2022