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Graeme Smith On Rishabh Pant’s Captaincy, ‘After His Last Game For DC, I Was Interested In Watching Him. But…’

Graeme Smith Rishabh Pantvia
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Last night Team India had a golden chance to make a world record of streak 13-0 in T20Is. India won their previous 12 T20Is. They joined the list of most consecutive wins in T20Is along with Afghanistan (did twice), Romania, and Uganda. South Africa, which came to India for 5 T20Is breaks its winning streak. Rishabh Pant was captaining India for the first time after KL Rahul got injured and ruled out of the series. At Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi, India put a massive total on board 211/4. However, the visitors chased down the total in just 19.1 overs, thanks to the scintillating knocks from Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller. Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith talked about Rishabh Pant’s captaincy after India’s loss.

Graeme Smith
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Graeme Smith captained South Africa for over ten years from 2003 to 2014. He is the youngest ever captain for South Africa. Graeme Smith was 22 years and 82 days old when he was captained for the first time against Bangladesh. Graeme said that he was keen to watch Rishabh Pant leading the team after his last outing as captain in IPL 2022. It was Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians and was the must-win game for Delhi Capitals. But, Rishabh Pant dropped a catch and opted out of taking review for being caught behind against explosive Tim David. A man who changed the game for Mumbai and knocked Delhi out of the season. Graeme Smith analyzed Rishabh Pant’s captaincy and said,

“You always criticize a captain when you lose. He has to take a lot on his chin. Post his (Pant’s) last game for Delhi Capitals, which was a must-win and he made some tough calls in that match, I was very interested to watch him. But I think tonight, he was very good. He went to the right people at the right time. He tried to stay in the game.”

Rishabh Pant India Captain
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Graeme Smith added,

“When South Africa was under pressure, he went to Harshal Patel and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar). All in all, he made a lot of right decisions. At times, they won’t work out because your bowlers have to deliver; you have to execute. But I think he can look back and say, ‘I made the right decisions at the right time’. I think he can gain some confidence after his outing this evening.”

The second T20I between Team India and South Africa is on Jun 12, Sunday in Cuttack. India will look for bouncing back against this strong South African side. How do you guys rate Rishabh Pant’s captaincy? Let us know in the comments below.

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Praneet Samaiya
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