What’s the story?
In what was a really, close game between the hosts Australia and India where India piped the hosts to win the game by 31 runs at Adelaide to take a 1-0 lead in the series, the banter and sledging from Rishabh Pant has come into the limelight.
In the heat of the moment, as the Australians were inching closer to their target of 323 runs, Rishabh Pant’s sledging of Pat Cummins has created quite a storm on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Everyone's interest has been piqued by Rishabh Pant's sledging especially considering the fact that the Australians who are usually known for their sledging were at the receiving end of some banter coming from the young wicket-keeper.
In case you didn't know...
Australia’s sledging is a well-known fact. Every team touring Australia would have got accustomed to the sledging and war of words that would be hurled at them. But events in recent times- The Sandpaper gate scandal which left three players banned, has changed the outlook and the way the Australians operate on the field.
They seem to have mellowed down and have kept the sledging to mainly starring the batsmen down and some words here and there. It is a conscious move taken by the players of a country whose image needs cleaning post the events that shook the world of cricket recently.
The heart of the matter
Chasing a stiff target of 323 runs, Australia were 104/4 overnight coming into day five of the first Test match at Adelaide. Two outstanding, unplayable balls ended Travis Head and Shaun Marsh’s innings. That left Tim Paine to bat out the rest of the day with the tail-enders.
Tim Paine found a solid partner in Pat Cummins who farmed the strike and looked solid. Frustration was building up in the Indian ranks as the pitch was not offering much assistance for their bowlers, and Australia were slowly chipping away at the total.
To divert the attention of the batsmen, Rishabh Pant was constantly sledging from behind the stumps. With the stump mike clearly audible, everyone could hear what Rishabh Pant had to say to the likes of Pat Cummins and Tim Paine.
In one phase post lunch, when it looked like Australia would take the game away, Rishabh Pant started openly appreciating Ravi Ashwin’s deliveries, letting Pat Cummins know what to expect in the upcoming deliveries.
The most memorable moment in this duel between Rishabh Pant and Pat Cummins was when Rishabh Pant said,’Lets have more sixes Paty!’ when the Aussie seamer was blocking it from one end. With no bowler causing too much trouble, this was a tactic purposefully utilized by Rishabh Pant.
It is fair to say that this is part of the beauty of Test match cricket. With the match entering the second session on day five, with bowlers and fielders tired and Australia fighting it out, it’s completely fine for Rishabh Pant to try to distract the batsmen with some sledging.
His sledging was mostly friendly banter which adds more meat to the occasion. You would ideally want the fielders around the batsmen to be chirping around and encouraging their bowler and in the process intimidate the batsman.
This sledging/banter should not cross limits. As far as it is within limits then there’s absolutely no issue whatsoever. Some chirping always keeps the batsmen on their toes and the audiences glued to the match.
Along with brilliant performances by Cheteshwar Pujara, Nathan Lyon, Ajinkya Rahane which are the highlights of this brilliant Test match, with the stump mike in focus- Rishabh Pant’s sledging especially of Pat Cummins will be spoken about for some time.