Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh on Sunday defended young cricketer Rishabh Pant for his shot selection during World Cup 2019 semifinal game against New Zealand at the Old Trafford Ground. Pant had added a valiant 32 after India faltered to 24 for 4 while also stitching a crucial 47-run stand alongside Hardik Pandya. But a poor shot selection led to his dismissal and Indi eventually lost the game.
Pant was criticised a lot for his game, but Yuvraj reckons that the youngster lacked the experience of playing at the big stage and that India lost the game because they planned the tournament poorly.
Pant was not part of the initial World Cup squad, but was added as a replacement for all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who was, in turn, come in as a replacement for opener Vijay Shankar. Yuvraj feels that Pant, who earned the spot owing to his IPL performance that year, shouldn't have been part of the squad critocising the method of selection.
“Rishabh Pant was just playing his fifth match. I know everyone was pissed at that shot, but you need to understand he was just playing his fifth match. You need experience when you play a big tournament,” Yuvraj told Kevin Pietersen during a session of Instagram Live.
“We did not plan well for the 2019 World Cup. When you play an IPL match for 20 overs, you have the authority of playing big shots anytime, but in 50-over matches you cannot smash every ball. If the IPL was a fifty-over tournament, and if Pant had the experience of three IPLs in that format, then things would have been different. I’m just saying your mindset is different when you have the experience of playing 50-over matches.”
India, despite finishing as the leaders in the group stage, lost the semifinal to New Zealand, leaving themselves trophy-less in ICC tournaments since 2013 Champions Trophy win.