Former Australian left-arm spinner Brad Hogg has opined that Rishabh Pant adopted the right tactics by trying to take on the New Zealand bowlers in the second innings of the World Test Championship (WTC) final. According to Hogg, if he hadn’t tried to score, India would have been in even bigger trouble as the Kiwis would have run through the tail quickly.
Rishabh Pant top-scored for India with 41 off 88 balls in India’s second innings. He was dismissed playing an ugly hoick off Trent Boult. The left-hander’s knock divided opinion, with some critics stating that he should have exercised more caution under the circumstances.
Speaking on his official YouTube channel, Hogg defended Rishabh Pant’s aggressive batting. He explained:
“He got dropped early on, but I think Rishabh Pant had to play that aggressive role because he had to get as many runs as he possibly could on the board. If you look at the wicket at that stage, he seemed to be a sitting duck. He wanted to show his authority on the New Zealand bowlers. The more runs he got, the more chance that the Indian bowlers had of getting the 10 wickets when they had to bowl to New Zealand. The runs he got allowed Virat Kohli to use some spin on the final day.”
Hogg believes Pant adopted the right approach against New Zealand.
“Rishabh Pant had to go for it after the bowling and put pressure on that opposition team. You are always playing with fire in that regard. With the long Indian tail, it wasn’t going to be too long before New Zealand got that breakthrough. He played the right role at that particular stage. That’s what he is in the team for, to try and turn the game around,” Hogg added.
Another 4-5 overs of Rishabh Pant could have made a difference: Brad Hogg
Rishabh Pant was dismissed in the 70th over of the innings, leaving India in strife at 156 for 7. Hogg felt that things could have been different had the left-hander hung around for a few more overs. He explained:
“It was a pity that he couldn’t bat for another 4-5 overs, and put another 20 runs on the board. That might have been out of reach of New Zealand. And if, India had got Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, they would have had a chance of winning it too.”
Following Rishabh Pant’s wicket, India’s tail again failed to move the scoreboard as they were bundled out for 170. At a virtual conference following the WTC final, Indian captain Virat Kohli said the team management will continue to back Rishabh Pant’s expressive style of play.