India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Dropped more catches than any other keeper since debut – Ponting slams Pant
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting criticised Rishabh Pant, saying the Indian wicketkeeper has to work hard on his keeping after the gloveman dropped two simple catches on Day 1 of the third Test between India and Australia on Thursday in Sydney
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting criticised Rishabh Pant, saying the Indian wicketkeeper has to work hard on his keeping after the gloveman dropped two simple catches on Day 1 of the third Test between India and Australia on Thursday in Sydney.
Australia's debutant Will Pucovski received two lives, courtesy of Pant's sloppy work behind the wickets. Pant dropped Pucovski, first on 26 when the Australian opener edged Ravichandran Ashwin and then on 34 when the Aussie batter tried to hook Mohammed Siraj. Pucovski went on to score a crucial 62 off 110 deliveries before becoming Navdeep Saini's maiden Test scalp.
"The ones (dropped catches) today are two that should be taken, simple as that. It's probably lucky for Rishabh that Pucovski didn't go on and make a big hundred or a double hundred and looking at the wicket, it looks like an unbelievable surface,"
Ponting told cricket.com.au after the end of day's play on Thursday.
Ponting is Pant's head coach at Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Ahead of the Border Gavaskar series opener in Adelaide, Ponting backed Pant when India picked Wriddiham Saha instead as the wicketkeeper, citing the Delhi cricketer's superior batting should outweigh his weakness with the gloves.
But on Thursday, Ponting said Pant desperately needs to improve his keeping skills.
"I'm sure when Rishabh put those catches down, he would have thought the worst and 'here we go, he's really going to make me pay' but (Pucovski) didn't today. I've said it all along, the knock on Rishabh is always going to be on his keeping. Since his debut in Test cricket, he's dropped more catches than any other keeper in the world. That highlights he has got some work to do with his keeping," added Ponting.
At stumps of Day 1 of the New Year's Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Australia were 166 for 2 in 55 overs. The hosts lost David Warner in the fourth over of the day after the opener hooked one to first slip Cheteshwar Pujara off Siraj's bowling. He scored only five off eight balls. To Australia's huge relief, Steve Smith finally found his old touch as he remained unbeaten on 31 off 64 balls – his highest score this series, surpassing his previous 8 that he had scored in the second Test. He shared an unbeaten 60-run stand with Marnus Labuschagne, who will resume his innings on 67 on Friday.
After the first two Tests, the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy is levelled at 1-1.