During a discussion on the Sony Sports network, Sanjay Manjrekar highlighted that Rishabh Pant is a topic of debate among the commentary team who agree that he has been preferred over Wriddhiman Saha because of being a better batsman.
"In the commentators lounge, there is a raging debate about Rishabh Pant. And the majority feeling is that he is a good batsman because of which he is playing, and there is no doubt who is the better keeper between Saha and Pant," said Manjrekar.
Sanjay Manjrekar, however, pointed out that India cannot afford to persist with Rishabh Pant if he fails to improve as a wicketkeeper, saying in this regard:
"But it is not that India can make do with Pant keeping in this way. Both Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar also agree that he has to improve his keeping."
"I would have told Rishabh Pant to keep his mouth shut and eyes open" - Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar observed that Rishabh Pant putting down Will Pucovski's catch off Ravichandran Ashwin's bowling was more to do with a lapse of concentration than poor technique.
"If you see the dropped catch against the spinner, I feel it is more a problem with his focus than his technique. There was not much of a deflection, and when the ball comes and hits his gloves, it means his mind was somewhere else," said Sanjay Manjrekar.
Manjrekar signed off by saying that he would have asked Pant to concentrate more on his keeping rather than barking instructions to bowlers, if he were the Indian skipper.
"When he talks from behind the wickets and gives advice to Ashwin, I get worried that he should talk less and focus more because keeping requires the greatest focus. If while talking, he can focus and take catches, I have no problem. If I was his captain, I would have told him to keep his mouth shut, eyes open and focus more," concluded Sanjay Manjrekar.
Rishabh Pant dropped a regulation catch off Ashwin's bowling when Will Pucovski had scored just 26 runs. He gave another life to the debutant by spilling a slightly more difficult chance off Mohammed Siraj's bowling when Pucovski was on 32.
These dropped catches by the embattled Rishabh Pant proved costly, as the Australian opener went on to score 62 runs and strung together a 100-run partnership with Marnus Labuschagne. That helped the hosts reach a comfortable position at stumps on Day 1 at the SCG.Published 07 Jan 2021, 16:03 IST