Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant dropped two catches inside four overs on Day 1 of the third Test as luck shined on Australian debutant Will Pucovski.
In the 22nd over, Ravichandran Ashwin got a good length ball to drift outside off. Pucovski played for the turn but the ball kept straight and took a feather off the bat. It was a regulation catch for a wicket-keeper but Pant went for it with hard hands and failed to latch on to it.
Then exactly four overs later, Mohammed Siraj bowled a bouncer to the same batsman. Pucovski was hurried by the pace and the ball looped in the air off his glove. After scampering backward, Pant dived and got his gloves on the ball. But the ball slipped and plummeted and Pant couldn't stop it from hitting the ground.
The Rishabh Pant versus Wriddhiman Saha debate had caught traction just before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Saha is touted as India's best wicket-keeper, especially in spin-friendly conditions. Pant, on the flip side, is considered as the better batsman between the two.
Against the views of most pundits and experts, India went with Saha for the first Test in Adelaide. This was despite Rishabh Pant's brilliant performances with the bat the last time India toured Australia. However, when India lost the Test, India dropped Saha for Pant.
Rishabh Pant displayed his dynamic batting in Melbourne by scoring a quick-fire 29 runs. However, even after three years since his debut, Pant is yet to glean the audience's confidence with his wicket-keeping technique.
He has had a propensity for dropping easy catches for quite some time now. The two dropped catches on Day 1 has already allowed Pucovski to reach 54 at Tea. It remains to be seen if Pant again finds himself in the crosshairs of the team management.
Till then, he has grabbed the attention of Twitterati who reacted furiously to the two dropped chances.