New Zealand pacer Tim Southee feels dropping Rishabh Pant in the World Test Championship (WTC) final was like dropping the marquee clash in Southampton. Pant, batting on 5, enjoyed a reprieve after edging Kyle Jamieson's delivery to Southee in the slips.
Southee dived to his right to pluck the catch but couldn't get hold of the ball. Pant eventually walked back after scoring 41 as India bundled out for just 170. The wicketkeeper-batsman, however, finished as India's top scorer in the second innings.
In response, New Zealand hunted the 139-run target on the final day with eight wickets in hand to clinch the coveted Test mace. Southee said that he was "relieved" when Pant got out as the India dasher has the ability to single-handedly shift the result in his side's favour.
"I'd be lying if I said it didn't go through my head. Just because of the nature of the way that Pant played," Southee on The Matt and Jerry Show when asked if he thought he had cost New Zealand the match when he dropped Pant.
"He can take the game away from you in the space of five or six overs. It was already a tight game and so there were some demons throwing around inside my head. But I had to drop those (thoughts) as I had to bowl the next over. You've just got to suck it up and move on. But I was very relieved when Pant was out."
"It was a horrible feeling. Probably the worst feeling for a cricketer when you drop a catch, you feel like you're letting your mates down," Southee further said.
Pant is currently enjoying the international break before England Tests get underway from August 4. He was recently spotted watching the Euro 2020 last-16 tie between England and Germany.
The 23-year-old, who was at the Wembley Stadium for the high-octane clash, shared his pictures with the caption, "Good experience watching," as England beat Germany for the first time in a tournament knockout since 1966.