Rishabh Pant, batting at the much talked-about number four spot, failed to impress with the willow and lost his wicket for 32 in India's chase in semi-final in Manchester on Wednesday. The young left-hander decided to slog sweep Mitchell Santner but ended up handing an easy catch to Colin de Grandhomme at deep mid-wicket. Apart from criticism for the shot selection from fans and experts, Rishabh Pant received some unpleasant remarks from former England skipper Kevin Pietersen. "How many times have we seen (Rishabh Pant) do that? The very reason he wasn't picked initially! Pathetic!" Kevin Pietersen said in a tweet.
How many times have we seen @RishabPant777 do that?????!!!!!— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) July 10, 2019
The very reason he wasn't picked initially!
Yuvraj Singh, who starred in India's World Cup victory in 2011, came to Pant's rescue, saying he's new to the business and still learning the best of it.
"He's played 8 ODIs ! It's not his fault he will learn and get better it's not pathetic at all! However we all are entitled to share our opinions," Yuvraj replied on Pietersen's tweet.
He's played 8 Odis ! It's not his fault he will learn and get better it's not pathetic at all ! However we all are entitled to share our opinions— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) July 10, 2019
The verbal exchange between the two cricketers extended further as Pietersen admitted his "criticism comes out of frustration". Pietersen added that he hopes Pant learns the art of shot selection quickly.
"My criticism comes out of frustration because of how good he is, mate. He does it sooooo many times! Let's hope he learns FAST!" he tweeted.
My criticism comes out of frustration because of how good he is, mate. He does it sooooo many times! Let's hope he learns FAST!— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) July 10, 2019
Much to his delight, Yuvraj concluded the duel with agreement to Pietersen's opinion.
I agree— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) July 10, 2019
After the World Cup exit, India captain Virat Kohli also expressed disappointment at Pant's shot selection but added that he believes the 21-year-old will learn from his mistake.
"He (Pant) is an instinctive player and he did well to overcome that situation and stitch a partnership with Hardik. I think the way they played after the loss of three wickets, four wickets rather, was quite commendable and in hindsight he's still young," Kohli said at the press conference.
"I made many errors when I was young in my career and he too will learn. He will look back and think yes, he could have chosen a different option in that situation and he realises that already," he added.