The onus will again be on Indian captain Rishabh Pant when the home team takes on the South Africans in the second T20I at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack on June 12 (Sunday). With Pant not living up to his franchise’s expectations as the Delhi Capitals captain and then losing the first T20 to Proteas despite the team scoring over 200 after batting first has brought the 24-year-old’s decision-making under the scanner. Not to forget, Yuzvendra Chahal, India’s lone leg-spinner did not complete his spell in the opening tie and that has brought a lot of criticism towards Pant. Many believe it was wrong to hand over captaincy to Pant in absence of KL Rahul, who misses out due to an injury. However, former Indian cricketer Anjum Chopra says that it is too short a time to judge Pant as an Indian captain.
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— BCCI (@BCCI) June 11, 2022
“It is very difficult to asses Rishabh Pant’s captaincy as an Indian cricket team captain. He is just one match old and that also he became the captain the previous night, on the eve of the game. So to say that he is not an able leader or he is a perfect leader is I think we need to give time. Whether it is KL Rahul or Hardik Pandya or Pant, everyone needs that little time. Nobody is born to take this kind of role straightaway,” Anjum told Zee News English in an exclusive chat.
She defended Pant’s selection as the captain by saying that every player deserves to be given a time as captain.
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— BCCI (@BCCI) June 12, 2022
“On other part of the question that whether he is the best person to be India’s captain or not. I think Indian captaincy should never come to anyone as a gift. I have seen in my career that Indian captaincy has been offered to people as a gift. but it should not be done. An India cap and Indian captaincy are two big things for a sportsperson. And everyone likes to achieve it. I won’t say Rishabh Pant is a wrong choice. He is certainity in all formats of the game. The biggest factor that goes in his selection is the certainity that he features in all formats of Indian team. And if KL Rahul is unavalaible then I don’t think Pant is a wrong choice,” she said.
Anjum added that in a ground like Feroz Shah Kotla, which is a small ground, 400 runs in a T20 game is not a big deal. “Let’s not forget, Feroz Shah Kotla is still a very small ground. If one team can get to 200, the other team can also get to 200. It is not that SA players are not experienced. They possess quality match-winners. I guess it was a game SA played very well. And Indian bowlers could not bowl to the plans. It is unfair to judge Pant on just one match,” the former Indian cricketer concluded.