Rishabh Pant’s captaincy came under scrutiny after Team India suffered their second consecutive defeat in a five-match series against South Africa. After losing the opening match in New Delhi last week, India’s conspiracy to make a comeback at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday was ruined, as South Africa scripted a four-wicket win to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match competition. When asked to mark India’s stumble in the second T20I, cricket legends condemned Pant’s decision to send bowling all-rounder Akshar Patel to bat before Dinesh Karthik.
After losing 45 runs for the second wicket between Ishaan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer, India quickly lost three wickets. Keshav Maharaj improved the captain of the Indian team when Wayne Parnell dismissed Hardik Pandya when India slumped to 48/4 in the 13th over from 48/1 in the seventh over.
With seven more overs to spare, Pant decided to send Akshar in front of his most experienced batter Karthik in the line-up, leaving India with 148 for six. Akshar was dismissed for only 9 runs by Unrich Nortje, then Karthik scored 30 off 21 unbeaten deliveries, with two sixes and four boundaries.
Also Read: ‘What else can he do? He is a street-smart cricketer.
Talking to Star Sports after the match, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said he was angry at Pant’s call and that Karthik was hailed as a “finisher” and that when India lost the early wickets, they could be sent to the boat quickly. Reserve him only for slog overs so he can improve the pitch experience and work accordingly.
“Sometimes there are labels like ‘Finisher’. And when you talk about Finisher, you think he comes to bat after the 15th over. He can’t come in over 12 or 13. And we have seen that. If they are sent early, they need to be able to work. .
Former South African captain Graeme Smith, who was part of the same debate, became embarrassed about the strategy and suggested Karthik’s experience as a batter in international cricket.
“I don’t understand. Karthik is one of the most experienced cricketers in India. Look at how many matches he has played for India. Not in the IPL. How can you put forward Akshar Patel. He said.
South Africa suffered a top-order drop in its chase due to Bhubaneswar Kumar’s sensational spell with the new ball. However, India’s 64-run partnership between Henrik Klassen and David Miller helped South Africa bounce back and complete the chasing in 18.2 overs.
“Undoubtedly Dinesh Karthik performed really well but he had to walk out to bat at least before Akshar Patel. Usually we have a very limited number of balls to deal with in T20 and most batters prefer to bat. Dinesh Karthik is the player you want to keep in the last 3-4 overs. He had to come quickly because of the outburst of Hardik Pandya but if he came ahead of Akshar Patel and gave him 10-15 balls, he would have done more damage to his opponent.
“Therefore, Dinesh Karthik should not be kept for the last three overs. If you are a special batter and you are batting at No. 6, it is your job to play in tough situations, give you more chances. And hurt in the last three overs, ”former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir said after the match on Star Sports.