Fri. May 7th, 2021

Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant had a tough time behind the wickets on the first day of the third Test match against Australia in Sydney. He dropped Will Pucovski twice as the opener notched up a half-century on his Test debut.

The incident happened on the last ball of the 22nd over when off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tempted Pucovski into a drive. However, the batsman lost his balance and ended up edging the ball. Pant failed to take the catch despite getting his gloves to it.

A couple of overs later, Pant spilled another chance to dismiss the debutant opener. On the last delivery of the 25th over, Pucovski attempted to pull a well-directed short delivery from Mohammed Siraj. The ball touched the batsman’s gloves on his way to the keeper. Pant managed to catch the ball on the second attempt but it had hit the ground by then.

The wicket-keeping position in the Indian Test team has been talked about a lot over the last year or so. While Saha remains the undisputed No. 1 for the role in the sub-continent, he is often shuffled with Pant overseas. After getting the nod in the Adelaide Test, Saha was dropped in favour of Pant for the second and the third Test.

Pant had a few hiccups behind the stumps in the Boxing Day Test, especially when keeping spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

The two drops have given rise to the question of Rishabh Pant vs Wridhhiman Saha in Tests for India on social media. On one hand, Pant has better abilities with the bat, and can change the match in a span of a few overs for the team. On the other, Saha is definitely the better keeper among the two.

Pucovski smashed back-to-back boundaries to Navdeep Saini to reach his maiden fifty. Later, in the final session, Saini, who also made his Test debut today, trapped Pucovski in the front. The Australian opener ended up scoring 62 off 110 balls, including four boundaries.  He will be hoping to build on their side’s momentum on Day 2, with Steve Smith, who is not out on 31. The hosts finished the day at 166 for two. The hosts lost the wickets of Pucovski and David Warner. Mohammed Siraj dismissed Warner, who could only muster five runs.


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