Rishabh Pant finds himself in the middle of a lean patch in batting. After his third Test century against England in March of last year, Pant has scored only one half-century in 13 innings, out of which five have produced single-digit scores. While all the focus was on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane for their lack of form, the same has now shifted to the India wicketkeeper batter following his dismissal for a three-ball duck in the team’s second innings during Johannesburg Test.
Add to that, his constant chirping at Rassie van der Dussen that has made for some comical listening, it has not impressed former South Africa pacer Morne Morkel. While Morkel understands that there is room for harmless sledging and some fun banter, the fact that Pant isn’t scoring much and engaging in constant tirades from behind the stumps may soon land the youngster in trouble. Morkel has urged Pant to make some noise, but with the bat, as he feels the failure to do so might just see the 23-year-old no longer being an automatic pick in India’s Test Playing XI.
“For me, Pant is a quality player but I would rather let the bat do the talking at the moment than him behind the stumps. I reckon before you know, a couple of low scores and he’s going to find himself in trouble there… fighting for a spot in the team. I’m quite surprised with that,” Morkel said on The Byju’s Cricket Live Show in Star Sports.
Morkel weighed in on the heated exchange between India pacer Jasprit Bumrah and South Africa quick Marco Jansen. The Mumbai Indians teammates got into each other’s faces and things seemed to spiral out of hands when umpire Marais Erasmus intervened to calm things down. It reminded Morkel of another such incident involving none other than Bumrah not too long ago.
“Bumrah’s response was an interesting one for me. For me, I feel that it’s the heat of the moment for fast bowlers, they bowl short to each other. It was sort of Bumrah’s response in England to Jimmy Anderson… it was sort of a remake. Also, Bumrah responding and hitting Kagiso Rabada for a six. Emotions are going to flare up every now and then. It takes an instance where they are at each other’s face,” Morkel added.