Batting legend Yuvraj Singh has defended Rishabh Pant for his shot selections that have led to untimely dismissals in international cricket. The young wicketkeeper-batsman has been projected as MS Dhoni’s successor but having tasted success in Test cricket, is yet to replicate that in limited-overs cricket especially when he’s known for his aggressive approach. Also Read - It Will be Tougher For Bowlers to Find Their Rhythm After Lockdown: Brett Lee
His slog sweep that led to dismissal during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand was heavily criticised. Having walked in to bat when India were left struggling at 24/4, Pant struck a decent partnership with Hardik Pandya, adding 47 runs for the fifth wicket. Also Read - Happy Birthday Ravi Shastri: Top-10 Facts You Should Know About The Former India Allrounder
He had done well to reach 32 before holing out to Colin de Grandhomme off spinner Mitchell Santner. Also Read - Rahul Dravid is The Toughest Batsman I've Ever Bowled to: Varun Aaron
India went on to lose the match by 18 runs.
However, Yuvraj says lack of experience worked against the youngster. “Rishabh Pant was just playing his fifth match (in fact his 4th of world cup). I know everyone was p***** at that shot, but you need to understand he was just playing his fifth (fourth) match. You need experience when you play a big tournament,” Yuvraj told Kevin Pietersen during an Instagram chat session.
He also blamed India’s semi-final exit on lack of planning saying taking a player to a marquee tournament based on IPL performance isn’t the correct way.
“We did not plan well for the 2019 World Cup. When you play an IPL match for 20 overs, you have the authority of playing big shots anytime, but in 50-over matches you cannot smash every ball. If the IPL was a fifty-over tournament, and if Pant had the experience of three IPLs in that format, then things would have been different. I’m just saying your mindset is different when you have the experience of playing 50-over matches,” he said.
The duo also spoke about their famous on-field rivalry that created waves when Pietersen called Yuvraj ‘pie-chucker’ after the Indian managed to dismiss him on few occasions.
“It’s still my email address, when you made that statement about my bowling. I didn’t feel bad, I actually laughed. I laughed so much because over the years I could not put it into words. But when you said it I felt yes that is what my bowling is,” Yuvraj, who bowled left-arm spin, said.
He continued, “That’s why I put pie-chucker in my email address. It’s my favourite email id. A lot of my friends address me as pie-chucker sometimes. When you know somebody hits your bowling, they don’t want to get out to your bowling. I know you were like, ‘I’m going to hit this guy out of the park but I can’t get out to him’. That was a lot of fun.”