Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has advised the young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant to work on his poor shot selection before he runs out of time.
Needing 24 runs off the last 2 overs in the first T20I against Australia, Pant (20 off 15 balls) threw his wicket away by trying a cheeky reverse shot off Andre Tye’s bowling. It was certainly a turning point of the match as India failed to score 13 in the final over to lose the match by 4 runs in Brisbane.
"Rishabh Pant could've won the match for India with Dinesh Karthik. The way he was batting with Karthik and took the match close for India, the shot didn't have any value," Ganguly told IndiaTV.
He went on to say that the team management should talk to Pant and suggest him to play straight rather than manufacturing the risky strokes.
"He is a an young player and somebody needs to tell him that when he has the ability and power to hit straight, he doesn't need to play these kind of shots. He is not in bad form. He just has to change his shot selection. It is not a difficult thing to do. I am not concerned with his form," Ganguly asserted.
Earlier, Glenn Maxwell (46 off 24 balls) and Marcus Stoinis (33 off 19 balls) played blistering knocks and guided Australia to 158/4 in a rain-marred contest which was reduced to 17-overs-a-side. The revised target for the Men in Blue was 174 in 17 overs.
Despite Dhawan’s sublime 76 off 42 balls and Dinesh Karthik’s breathtaking cameo (30 off 13 balls), India finished agonizingly short on 169/7. After Dhawan’s dismissal, it looked all but over for India but the carnage from Pant and Karthik pulled things back for India. The duo added 51 runs in quick time to put the hosts on the backfoot.
After the match, India skipper Virat Kohli also admitted that Pant's dismissal was the turning point of the match.
"It was a close game, exciting one for the crowd to watch and for the players as well, was a see-saw battle. We started well with the bat, fumbled in the middle overs, in the end we thought we'll win with Pant and Karthik but it changed again with Pant's dismissal," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
With this win, Australia have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-T20I series. Melbourne will host the second game on Friday (November 23).