Ex-Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer observes that new stand-in skipper Rishabh Pant panics when the match is about to end. Pant can be analyzed for his decisions while leading India in the first two T20I matches against South Africa. He lost the toss both times and was forced to bat first, and then struggled with his decision-making while defending two decent totals. Fans and cricket experts are trolling the Delhi Capitals’ leader and the question arises, is it too early for Pant?
The 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batter has shown his leadership skills by being much vocal behind the stumps but fans are yet to see his decision-making skills and other captaincy duties like leading the team in difficult matches. He was handed the captain’s role after KL Rahul was ruled out of this series with a groin injury. Pant impressed with his batting in the first match at Delhi but took some questionable decisions while defending the 212-run target.
India spinning sensation Yuzvendra Chahal was restricted to bowl just two overs with his third coming in the innings’ last over. Fans and former cricketers slammed Pant for not trusting his key spinner, who finished IPL 2022 as the highest wicket-taker. In the second match, Pant named the same starting eleven despite some calls for Umran Malik and Ravi Bishnoi’s inclusion from cricket experts. Pant was also questioned for sending all-rounder Axar Patel to bat above in-from batter Dinesh Karthik.
India started well with Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking three wickets in the powerplay while defending a 149-run target but once again Pant failed to utilize his bowlers in the middle and death overs. Jaffer now feels that Pant changes strategies and panics too quickly if things don’t go his way. “Yes, we saw something similar in the IPL as well. I feel the more he captains, the better he’ll get. But, yes, at this stage, I think when the match gets tight, he panics a bit,” Jaffer said. Pant is leading the Capitals in the Indian Premier League for some time but his experience is not yet great enough to handle the same duties with the national team. The Capitals finished the 2021 season at top of the group stage table but lost both knockout fixtures. They won back-to-back matches only once this season and failed to reach the knockout round. He is still young and has three more matches in this series to show his leadership skills.