SA v IND: Rishabh Pant was aggressive but not reckless, says Aakash Chopra after crucial fifty in Cape Town

South Africa vs India: Rishabh Pant remained unbeaten on 51 from just 60 balls as he played a controlled counter-attacking knock on Day 3 of the 3rd Test in Cape Town. He joined hands with captain Virat Kohli to steady India.

Rishabh Pant hit a quick fifty on Day 3 of the 3rd Test in Cape Town (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pant and Kohli dded 72 runs for the 5th wicket in 1st session
  • Pant hit 51 off just 60 balls before Lunch on Day 3
  • Kohli was happy to play second fiddle after India lost Pujara and Rahane

Former India opener Aakash Chopra said Rishabh Pant came up with better shot-selection on Day 3 of the 3rd Test to get to a potentially series-defining fifty against South Africa in Cape Town. Pant hit 51 and remained unbeaten at Lunch from just 60 balls as he steadied India with a counter-attacking knock after the visitors lost Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane early in the day.

Rishabh Pant hit 4 boundaries and a six as he stitched a 72-run stand from 147 deliveries with captain Virat Kohli who was willing to play 2nd fiddle in the morning session at Newlands on Thursday.

Cape Town Test, Day 3 Live Updates

It was the first fifty of the series for Rishabh Pant who was criticised for throwing his wicket away in a similar situation in India’s defeat in the 2nd Test in Johannesburg.

Pant fell for 0 while trying to attack Kagiso Rabada after India had lost Pujara and Rahane in quick succession in the final innings of the 2nd Test. Both Rahul Dravid and Kohli said before the start of the 3rd Test that Pant was spoken to about his shot selection.

Pant batted with a lot of purpose on Day 3 of the 3rd Test as he went after the loose deliveries but did not overdo anything during his 60-ball stay in the morning session.

“Well, it’s not a minefield. But that’s what you expect in South Africa. Virat Kohli now knows where his off-stump his from the back of his hands. So he is forcing the bowlers to come closer whereas Rishabh Pant he has played his way but it wasn’t reckless but aggressive. That’s what you would expect from Rishabh Pant. That’s why he is your X-factor and you want to invest in him,” Aakash Chopra told Star Sports.

‘Kohli was happy to play 2nd fiddle’

“The shot selection has been a lot better than whatever we have seen in the past in the series. Every now and then, he will frustrate you with the shot he plays but he is just 25, he will learn,” he added.

Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra also lauded Virat Kohli’s ability to play second fiddle and just hang on from one end as India were looking to stretch their 2nd-innings lead. The visitors reached Lunch at 130 for 4 on Day 3 with a 143-run lead.

“As long as he is there, Virat Kohli can just continue playing second fiddle. Speaks volumes about the guy and the lack of ego as well. Sometimes you are the hero, sometimes you are the hero’s brother. He is happy to be on the other side. He has let Pant do his thing and take the back seat. He has shown a lot of resilience,” he added.

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