Former Australian skipper, Ricky Ponting reckons there’s a long way to go for Rishabh Pant in terms of his wicket-keeping abilities as the latter dropped a couple of catches on Day 1 of the Sydney Test on Thursday. Pant dropped Will Pucovski twice – on 26 and 32 – but was lucky that the Australia debutant was restricted at the score of 62. Pucovski looked less comfortable facing Ravichandran Ashwin and looked set for an exit on 26 when he edged the India off-spinner, but Pant dropped the catch behind the stumps.
Pucovski only managed to add six more runs when he got another life, gloving the ball behind to give Pant a chance to redeem himself. Although he scurried back and leaped high to reach the ball, the Indian gloveman was adjudged by the third umpire to have trapped it on the ground and the Aussie opener was recalled to the crease.
During a chat on cricket.com.au., Ricky Ponting said, “The one’s (dropped catches) today are two that should be taken, simple as that. “It’s probably lucky for Rishabh that Pucovski didn’t go on and make a big hundred or a double hundred and looking at the wicket, it looks like an unbelievable surface.”
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He further added, “I’m sure when Rishabh put those catches down, he would have thought the worst and ‘here we go, he’s really going to make me pay’ but (Pucovski) didn’t today. I’ve said it all along, the knock-on Rishabh is always going to be on his keeping. Since his debut in Test cricket, he’s dropped more catches than any other keeper in the world. That highlights he has got some work to do with his keeping.”
Pucovski scored a brilliant 100-run partnership for the 2nd wicket with Marnus Labuschagne after Australia lost David Warner in the 4th over of the match for 5 to Mohammad Siraj. At the end of Day 2, Australia reached the tally of 166 for 2 with Labuschagne unbeaten on 67 along with Steve Smith (31 not out) at the close of play.
Praising Pucovski for his temperament, Ponting said: “The thing I liked most was his composure. He looked really composed, he didn’t look overawed at all. He looked like he trusted his game, trusted his defense early on against some good fast bowling, and just before the tea break started to expand his game a little bit.”