Gautam Gambhir expressed his displeasure over the Indian team management's handling of Rishabh Pant following the comments of head coach Ravi Shastri, batting coach Vikram Rathour and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad.
Each of the three came out and spoke about Pant and threw a warning regarding his rash shots and nack of throwing his wicket away.
Before the start of the series, Shastri had said that Pant needs to play more responsibly and not let the team down.
"We’ll let him be but at times when you see a shot, like the first-ball dismissal in Trinidad, if he repeats that, then he will be told. There will be a rap on the knuckles, talent or no talent. As simple as that. Because you are letting the team down, forget letting yourselves down. In a situation where you have the captain at the other end, a target to chase, the need of the hour is sensible cricket," Shastri told Star Sports.
Rathour followed by saying: "All the young players need to understand that there is a fine line between fearless cricket and careless cricket.
"What the team management is asking from them is fearless cricket, having clear game-plans and playing with intent but at the same time, you can’t be careless. I am sure they are smart enough to understand that."
Gambhir, however, felt there was no need for the management to use words such as 'from fearless to careless' and 'rap on Rishbah's knuckles'.
"Personally, I have always backed Sanju Samson ahead of Rishabh for wicketkeeper-batsman's role but it is disappointing to see the team-management using words like 'from fearless to careless', 'rap on Rishbah's knuckles' and 'need for a backup of Rishabh'," Gambhir wrote in his column for Times of India.
"This is no way to handle a young human resource. Everyone wants him to play 'sensible' cricket," the World Cup winner added. "I don't know what that means. What I do know is that the boy is now playing for survival rather than scoring runs. From the outside, it seems that his mindset is all over the place. Someone needs to put an arm around his shoulder and tell him that he is wanted in the team," Gambhir added.
Prasad also added fuel to fire said after the second T20I by saying that backups for Pant were being groomed across all formats.
"We are monitoring the workload of Rishabh. Of course, we have been grooming backups across all formats. We have the young KS Bharath doing well in the longer format for India 'A'. We also have Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson doing well in the shorter formats for India 'A' and domestic cricket," he had said.
Pant will have the chance to silence the critics in Bengaluru, when India take on South Africa in the third T20I at the M. Chinnaswamy.