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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

vilified by Sunil - Rishab Pant, actually is a better batter than !!

Cape Town  is the second-most populous city in South Africa,  after Johannesburg, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape.  As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country.  The city is famous for its harbour, for its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region, as well as for such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.  In 2014, Cape Town was named the best place in the world to visit by both The New York Times and The Telegraph. Cape Town was first developed by the Dutch East India Company as a  supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. 

The prime  suspect in a fire that gutted parts of South Africa's 138-year-old parliament building this month has been charged with terrorism, appearing in court for a case officials have described as an attack on the country's democracy. Zandile Mafe, 49, had already been charged with arson in connection with the fire that started on January 2, but the additional charge of terrorism was added because he had also been caught with an explosive device, the prosecution said. 

The blaze caused the roof of the newer part of the building to collapse, and also damaged the Old Wing dating back to 1884, when the Cape was under British colonial rule. Built in the ornate Victorian neo-classical style, against the backdrop of Table Mountain, the stately red-and-white parliament building is also one of Cape Town's tourist draws. Some sections containing important heritage, like a museum with artworks, were saved, however. The case was adjourned until February 11 and Mafe ordered to be detained in a psychiatric institute, after pleas from his defence council that he suffers from mental illness. Dozens of protesters gathered outside the court building in central Cape Town, saying Mafe was innocent. 

Moving away to our area of interest – the 3rd test at Capetown – Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat.  Against some tight  bowling KL Rahul (12); Mayank Agarwal (15) did not prosper; Pujara made 43; Ajinkya Rahana failed again (9) and at tea – Indians were 141/4 with Virat Kohli unbeaten on 40 and Rishab Pant on 12* 

Rishab Pant is a chirpy wicketkeeper – has taken some classy catches – may not be equipped with best defence but makes runs, makes them in aggressive fashion, when most needed and already part of some historic wins finishing with his batting.  .. .. he failed in the 2nd Test and a furious Gavaskar was harsh on him.  That sounds good Cricketing sense ! - 

"You have got two new batsmen at the crease and then you saw that shot from Rishabh Pant. Forgettable, no excuses for that shot, no excuses. None of that nonsense about that being his natural game. There has to be some sense of responsibility shown. Because there are others taking the blows. There is guys like Rahane and Pujara who have taken it on their body. So you also fight it out," a miffed Gavaskar said on commentary. 

He went on to add that there won't be "any kind words" for Pant in the dressing room too. India were down to 167/5 at the time of Pant's dismissal, with an overall lead  of just 140 runs. Sunil Gavaskar  slammed Rishabh for nonsense shot -  no doubt the little Master was very strong in defence and scored runs 10000 of them but wears his bias on his sleeve all the time !! – anyone for that matter holding a brief for Cheteswar Pujara and more so for Ajinkya Rahane, while criticizing Pant for that singular shot.  An analysis of the nucleus of Indian team in last years shows : 


Career Average

Average in last 2 years




KL Rahul



Cheteshwar Pujara



Ajinkya Rahane



Virat Kohli






Rishab Pant



Ravichandran Ashwin




-      The 24 year old has just completed 100 catches joining the elite list of Kirmani, Kiran More & MS Dhoni.  Dhoni took 36 games to effect 100 dismissals while Pant managed to do it in ten fewer matches. 

-      Those remembering Cricket history will remember another particular shot

legendary Kapil Dev was dropped for a single shot ! (and Sunil Gavaskar was the Captain then) 

In Dec 1984, Test no. 1007 between England and India ended a dull draw. Mohd Azharuddin made his debut, scored a century; Ravi Shastri also scored a ton – as India declared at 437/7 in 200 overs.   England captained by David Gower were all out for 276 with Chetan Sharma and Shivlal Yadav taking 4 apiece. In the 2nd innings India played 18 overs and made 29 for 1. 

That Test was a different kind of turmoil  – India had won the 1st Test at Bombay thanks to debutant L Sivaramakrishnan taking 12 wickets.  In the 2nd at Delhi,  India scored  307 in the first innings, Kapil Dev top-scoring with 60; England replied with 418.  Indians had to play for a draw as wished by the then Captain Sunil Gavaskar; the ebullient  Kapil Dev, having just hit Pat Pocock for a six,  was caught in the deep in trying to repeat the shot.  India folded; England won the test.  Gavaskar was furious and the greatest allrounder of Indian cricket was unceremoniously dropped for the Calcutta Test ~ yes dropped.  The greatest allrounder was punished for one shot !   .. .. .. and there were strong comments that he had been prevented from making another record of continuous test appearances held by Gavaskar at that time. 

Commentary is an art – and those holding mike can glorify or bury a player !


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Jan 2022 

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