Rishabh Pant is having quote a forgettable outing in the ongoing Twenty20 International series against Bangladesh. Replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the squad as wicketkeeper is never going to be easy and almost everything he does seems to attract greater scrutiny.
In the first match, he goofed up India’s DRS calls three different times and there were chants of ‘Dhoni’ even when he was playing on his home ground in Delhi. In the second match at Rajkot, a silly error behind the stumps made fans miss Dhoni again and earned him even more flak.
Put into bat, Bangladesh openers Liton Das (29 off 21 balls, 4x4) and Mohammad Naim (36 off 31 balls, 5x4) shared a 60 run opening stand. Yuzvendra Chahal had almost broken the stand with a stumping, but Pant failed to handle the ball properly, which resulted in a no-ball and gave Das a life.
In a beginner-level error, Pant went to collect the ball even before it crossed the stumps, which made it a no-ball and the stumping invalid. While Das was out by a mile, the umpire adjudged it as ‘no ball’.
The TV replays showed that while whipping the bails off, Pant;s gloves were in front of the stumps and as per the law, every part of wicket-keeper’s gloves has to be behind the stumps.
Das, then, hammered two successive fours to add insult to injury before getting another reprieve on 26 after skipper Rohit Sharma dropped him at square-leg following a mix-up with Shivam Dube and Pant. But the keeper made up for his mistake and ran Das out, with a direct hit in the eighth over, to break the opening stand.
Chahal said that Pant’s faulty collection ahead of the stumps was part and parcel of the game.
“We are team players, even I drop catches sometimes. No one wants to miss a catch or stumping, so no hard feelings with Pant. Just hard luck. Bowling in the death or powerplay gives you more confidence,” he said after the match.
India went on to win the match by eight wickets but Pant’s error was not easily forgotten by the fans on social media. There were brutal jokes and memes about the moment all over Twitter.