'Thin line between carefree and careless': Sunil Gavaskar on Rishabh Pant's innings in WTC final
- Reacting to Pant’s innings of 41 in India’s second innings, in which the left-hander tried to force things by going down the track multiple times against New Zealand seamers, Sunil Gavaskar said ‘there is a thin line between carefree and careless.’
Rishabh Pant is a classic modern adaptation of living by the sword and also dying by it. Unfortunately for India, it was the latter in the World Test Championship (WTC) final on Wednesday against New Zealand. The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman whose unconventional yet successful methods of batting in Test cricket got the experts talking in the last six months, tasted failure for sticking to the same audacious display of strokeplay when perhaps better shot selection was required.
Reacting to Pant’s innings of 41 in India’s second innings, in which the left-hander tried to force things by going down the track multiple times against New Zealand seamers, Sunil Gavaskar said ‘there is a thin line between carefree and careless.’
“There is a thin line between carefree and careless. Pant has at times breached the line of carefree and careless,” Gavaskar said during commentary on Wednesday.
“A couple of times he went for a big hit when he was in the 90s and missed an opportunity to score a hundred. The only issue with Pant is always going to be his shot selection; otherwise, he has a got the defence, got all the shots and technique,” he added.
Pant, who walked out to the middle after India had lost two quick wickets in the first session of the reserve day, continued to attempt high-risk shots despite getting an early life thanks to a dropped catch by Tim Southee.
The left-hander got two streaky boundaries while charging the fast bowlers but most of his attempts to throw the likes of Wagner and Southee off their line were unsuccessful.
While there is no doubt that Pant wanted to play his natural game, it was surprising that he went for another slog when India had lost six wickets and were actually looking to save the Test instead of pushing for victory.
India added only 14 runs to their total after Pant’s dismissal and were bowled out for 170, leaving New Zealand a paltry and yet tricky target of 139 in 53 overs.
In reply, New Zealand lost openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway to Ravichandran Ashwin but the experienced duo of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor stitched an unbroken 96-run stand to take them home.