Off The Field

Rishabh Pant’s dismissal after spat in Johannesburg was a massive moment in the series: Rassie van der Dussen

Written by Mohan Sharma

South Africa batter Rassie van der Dussen said that the Proteas ultimately gained an advantage in the aftermath of his spat with Rishabh Pant in India’s second innings in the second Test. Van der Dussen was seen having some banter with the Indian wicketkeeper-batter at the Wanderers during India’s second innings.

Pant retorted as well and then went for a big shot, ultimately just edging the ball behind to the wicketkeeper. It was just the third ball Pant had faced and he was out for a duck.

“It was a moment of me asking Rishabh (Pant) a few questions. Maybe he didn’t enjoy it too much. I’m not sure why. But there was certainly no hostility from my end. Maybe the way he took it – offence is taken and not given,” Van der Dussen told ESPNCricinfo.

“I was at a nice position at short leg. I had access to him in that sense. And I could ask him a few questions. There was never any hostility. And from there, it just sort of blew up. When I went out to bat, they reciprocated quite nicely. It’s part of the game. It’s Test cricket. It’s tough out there, and everyone’s trying to level basically to gain an inch.

“I don’t know if he would have played that shot if I wasn’t there or if I didn’t say anything. I know by nature he is that sort of player. In hindsight, it actually worked out very well for us, because I think that was a massive moment in the Test series for sure,” he said.

India went on to lose the second and third Tests by seven wickets each. Van der Dussen said that he enjoys having some banter with the opposition players.

“I enjoyed it. By nature, I am quite competitive. Growing up in a club cricket system in Pretoria, which is very hostile in terms of verbals, I’ve never been one to shy away from a bit of banter. The Indians called it sledging. I would never call it that. These days with cameras and stump mics, we don’t really know what sledging is but I did enjoy it. I’m always the type of guy – I play hard on the field. I’m obviously never going to be personal,” he said.

About the author

Mohan Sharma