Sehwag's comments came after some questionable decisions were made by Rishabh Pant while switching his bowlers in the first innings of the match. Despite suffering a poor start, RCB capitalized on the last 10 overs with the bat to reach 171 in their allotted 20 overs.
Sehwag was far from impressed by Pant's decision to finish off fast bowler Kagiso Rabada's bowling quota by the 18th over. Speaking on Cricbuzz, the former Indian opener said:
“I won’t give him (Rishabh Pant) even 5 marks out of 10 for his captaincy because you just can’t make such mistakes. If your main bowler isn’t bowling, your calculations go wrong – that’s what captaincy is all about. You need to take care of that.
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The decision to bowl out Rabada proved costly for DC as Pant was left with no choice but to call upon the services of Marcus Stoinis to bowl the last over. Stoinis, who hadn't bowled in the innings before, went for 23 runs with ABD blasting him for three sixes to help RCB set a 172-run target.
Further ripping into Rishabh Pant for mishandling his bowling resources, Sehwag added:
"A captain must manage his bowling resources according to the situation. You need to learn that. Or else you hand over the ball to whomsoever you want. The capability of a skipper is measured by how he turns the game around. He needs to make changes in the bowling or field position accordingly.
Rishabh Pant needs to play smart cricket to become a smart skipper: Virender Sehwag
While chasing 172, DC were on the backfoot for most of their innings as RCB bowlers managed to strike at regular intervals.
However, some fielding lapses and Shimron Hetmyer's (53* off 25 balls) brutal knock left DC needing a gettable 14 runs in the last over to win the match.
But Rishabh Pant was left to rue Stoinis' 23-run last over in the first innings as a confident Mohammed Siraj delivered some excellent yorkers to eke out a one-run victory for RCB.
Advising Pant to bring in some smartness to his game in order to grow as a captain, Virender Sehwag concluded with the following words:
"If Rishabh Pant wants to become a good captain, he needs to keep these small things in his mind. Play smart cricket, then only you can become a smart skipper.”