'Is he auditioning for Australia Test series?': Rishabh Pant bashed over ‘selfish’ knock vs SRH as T20WC spot questioned | Crickit
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'Is he auditioning for Australia Test series?': Rishabh Pant bashed over ‘selfish’ knock vs SRH as T20WC spot questioned

Apr 21, 2024 11:38 AM IST

With DC chasing 267, Rishabh Pant's sluggish knock of 44 off 35 left fans fuming

Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant faced the wrath of the fans on Saturday after scoring a bizarre knock in the chase of 267 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Arun Jaitely Stadium. Pant scored a sluggish 35-ball 44 as Delhi were folded for just 199, with five balls to spare, incurring a defeat by 67 runs on their return to the original home ground. The loss saw Delhi slip to the seventh spot in the points table, with just three wins in eight games so far.

Delhi Capitals batter Rishabh Pant during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 cricket match between Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad(PTI)
Delhi Capitals batter Rishabh Pant during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 cricket match between Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad(PTI)

Sunrisers Hyderabad batters have been on rampaging form this season, scoring 277/3 against Mumbai Indians, 266/7 against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the M Chinnaswamy and then 266/7 against Delhi Capitals. Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma clobbered 125 runs in the first six overs — the highest score in an IPL powerplay — en route to a 131-run opening stand in just 38 balls, which laid the perfect foundation for SRH to finish with their third highest total of this season.

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In response to the mighty total, Delhi lost both their openers early before Jake Fraser McGurk and Abhishek Porel carved out entertaining knocks to keep the chase alive. But following their dismissals, SRH bowlers applied the brakes in the middle overs as runs dried up.

Pant, who announced his return to competitive action with back-to-back fifties in IPL 2024 earlier this month, struggled immensely against the SRH attack as he even failed to middle the ball. Besides being questioned over batting at No. 6, as against his usual No. 4 spot in the line-up, fans were also fuming at his sluggish score of 44 off 35 balls in the huge run chase as he went the distance to even question his potential spot in India's T20 World Cup spot.

Looking back at the failed run chase, Pant admitted that Delhi expected dew to play a key factor in the second innings, which is probably why he put SRH to bat first at the venue. But the absence of dew helped the visitors, who got the ball to grip a little, set up the 67-run win.

"The only thought process behind [opting to bowl at the toss] was we thought there will be a bit of dew, which did not come," Pant said at the post-match presentation. "If we could have restricted them to 220-230 we still had a chance. [The ball] stopped more [on the surface] in the second innings than what we anticipated. But when you have 260-270 to defend, it gives bowlers confidence."

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