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‘This is Not Him Being Rash or Carefree’: Sanjay Manjrekar Defends Rishabh Pant’s High-Risk Batting Approach

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has defended Rishabh Pant following widespread criticism for his reckless dismissal on Day 3 of the Johannesburg Test. Pant, according to Manjrekar, has enjoyed all of his success by playing an ultra-aggressive kind of cricket. As a result, his failures are likely to follow the same pattern.

While other cricket experts such as Sunil Gavaskar and Aakash Chopra have clearly said that the theory that it is his natural batting style cannot be used as an excuse for the shot selection that resulted in his dismissal, Manjrekar believes otherwise. As he sprinted down the pitch to Kagiso Rabada, the 24-year-old batter was dismissed for a three-ball duck. He was caught behind while attempting to slog South Africa’s fast bowler. Pant’s dismissal came after those of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, putting India in a fix in their second innings.

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Manjrekar told ESPN Cricinfo that Pant’s high-risk approach to cricket is the reason for his success. He recalled the examples of the innings in Australia and England in which he played those shots early in his innings. He said, “This is a guy who, in a short career, has played two great Test innings – one against England, one against Australia.”

“This is how Rishabh Pant plays. This is not him being rash or carefree,” he continued.

Also Read: ‘Competitive Nature of Test Cricket Brings the Best Out of Dean Elgar’

Pant has so far scored 8, 34, 17, and 0 in two Tests in South Africa. As the runs are beginning to dry up, the criticism isn’t entirely unjustified. However, Manjrekar defended the keeper’s approach to batting, saying: “When you get those exciting results from him, and if you accept that, then you have got to accept this as well. This is one of the occupational hazards with his batting approach.”

Currently, India are on a hunt to seal the series 2-0 and win a series in the Rainbow Nation, which remains the only unconquered frontier for the Test side. However, the hosts are not making it easy and the Johannesburg Test is excitingly poised with Rassie van der Dussen and Dean Elgar batting. The hosts have notched up 118/2 on Day 3 and need 122 runs to level the series 1-1.

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