Rishabh Pant, the India captain for the T20I series against South Africa, is yet to win an international match as skipper. Appointed the India captain on the eve of the series after KL Rahul was ruled out due to injury, Pant and the Indian cricket team have suffered two straight losses. As India face the Proteas in the third T20I, a must-win one for the hosts, Pant’s captaincy will be under focus. Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer had an interesting observation on Pant’s captaincy.

“Yes, we have seen that thing, even in the IPL. Somewhere down the line I think, the more he leads, the better he will become. But currently, at this stage, I think that when the match becomes tight, he panics a little bit,” Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo during an interview.

“To some extent, the series is out of India’s hands. Because if you are trailing 2-0 in a five-match series, if in any of the next matches there is even small shortcomings then… I think India will have to play brilliant cricket from hereon. Irrespective of the toss, an above-par score should be made.”

Meanwhile after the loss in the second T20I, Pant made no bones about the uninspiring performance of the two leading spinners Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal.

While Axar could be given only one over in which he conceded 19 runs, Chahal was equally bad as he was smashed for 49 runs in four overs. In the two games, Axar has given away 59 runs in five overs while Chahal has gone for 75 in six overs.

“The spinners have (need) to come (perform) better into the game,” Pant said at the post-match presentation ceremony without elaborating much.

He admitted that a total of 148 for 6 was probably 15 runs short despite the track being two-paced in nature.

“I think (while) batting, we were 10-15 runs short,” he said.


“Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his 4/13) and all other fast bowlers though bowled very well. We were short in the second half and the things did not go our way.

“The bowlers started really well, but after 10-11 overs, we did not bowl well and that’s where the game changed. We thought we were going to do similar things (as the South African bowlers). In the last three matches, we will look to win.”

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