India’s batting legend, Sunil Gavaskar has always been known for speaking his mind as he often gives honest feedback. Recently, he also had a difference of opinion on former England skipper, Nasser Hussain’s views of how India’s previous generation cricketers were bullied in the UK. And now he is questioning the umpires, who apparently had asked the young Indian wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant to not bat out of his crease.
The southpaw slightly batted outside the crease on Day 1 of the Leeds Test and the on-field umpires Paul Wharf and Richard Kettleborough had found it wrong as they felt he was trying to deliberately come into the danger area by creating footmarks, and hence he was asked to bat inside the crease itself.
However, Sunil Gavaskar was bemused after it was during the commentary, he said, “I was wondering why was he told to change his stance if that is true. I only read it. A batsman can stand anywhere, even on the middle of the pitch, and what about when the batsman goes down the track against the spinners (footmarks can form even then).”
Cricketer-turned-expert Sanjay Manjrekar also found this decision against Pant as ridiculous. On the Other hand, talking about the same during a virtual press conference, Rishabh Pant said, “Because I was standing outside the crease and my front foot was coming into the danger area, so he (the umpire) told me that you can’t stand there. So, I have (had) to change my stance, but as a cricketer, I don’t have to think too much about that.”
Former Indian cricketer Maninder Singh said that the umpires might have made an error in stopping Rishabh Pant, as he said, “I don’t think so, I reckon it’s wrong. A batsman can stand anywhere; it’s the bowler’s job to get the batsman out. A batsman can’t be stopped from taking his preferred stance. So, it was hard for me to understand why he was stopped; there must be some rules. But as far as I am aware of the rules, I’m not sure if the umpires could show any objection.”