When Rishabh Pant walked in to bat on day 3, India were at a crucial juncture of the second Test match in Jo’burg. They were 163/4 and India had lost their two set batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane after they had scored solid fifties. At this point, the team was looking for someone like Pant to settle down, not shake things up. And that’s what he did as he first got engaged in a war of words with Rassie Van der Dussen and then played a rash shot to get out for a duck.
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His attitude came under scrutiny once again on social media with the fans slamming the 24-year-old. Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar too came hard at him. “No excuses for that shot. Absolutely no-nonsense about his natural game about this one. There has to be some sense of responsibility. Guys like Rahane have taken the blows. Guys like Pujara have taken it on their body, so you also fight it out,” Gavaskar said on commentary.
As can be seen in the video, Pant was attacked by the short leg fielder who was none other than vd Dussen. Here Pant can be heard replying: “focus on your cricket and not mine.” As it turned out, the player got into Pant’s skin forcing him to play a rash shot where he stepped down the track to Kagiso Rabada and ended up edging it to the wicket-keeper.
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Earlier attacking half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara and some useful knocks from Hanuma Vihari and Shardul Thakur lower down the order saw India setting South Africa a stiff target of 240 to win the ongoing 2nd Test to win in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
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