India vs SA: Graeme Smith makes a BIG statement on Rishabh Pant’s captaincy, says ‘he was very..’ | Cricket News

Rishabh Pant‘s international captaincy stint did not start off well when India went down by 7 wickets vs South Africa in 1st T20I at the Arun Jaitely Stadium in Delhi. Batting first, India powered its way to a massive total, putting on 211/4 in 20 overs. However, the target did not bother the Proteas as they chased down the total with five wickets remaining in their hand. It was all thanks to gritty knocks from Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller that South Africa managed to beat India despite the big total. 

Despite the loss, former South Africa captain Graeme Smith found positives from Pant’s captaincy. Not to forget, the 24-year-old was brutally trolled when he made some blunders during the stint as the Delhi Capitals captain which led to side not making the cut to the playoffs. However, Smith says Pant has improved a lot as captain and some of the decisions he took on the field were really good. 

“You always criticise a captain when you lose. He has to take a lot on his chin. Post his (Pant’s) last game for Delhi Capitals, which was a must-win and he made some tough calls in that match, I was very interested to watch him. But I think tonight, he was very good. He went to the right people at the right time. He tried to stay in the game,” Smith said, as he analysed Pant’s captaincy during the first T20I.

“When South Africa were under pressure, he went to Harshal Patel and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar). All in all, he made a lot of right decisions. At times, they won’t work out because your bowlers have to deliver; you have to execute. But I think he can look back and say, ‘I made the right decisions at the right time’. I think he can gain some confidence after his outing this evening,” Smith added.

The T20 series action now moves to Cuttack where the second match will take place. India have not lost all matches to South Africa this year and they will be itching to come back to winning ways against Temba Bavuma and Co. Not to forget, this is a five-match series, so India have ample time to make a comeback. 

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