Pakistan’s Kaneria raises question about Indian skipper’s fitness ahead of 5th T20I vs SA

Pakistan’s Kaneria raises question about Indian skipper’s fitness ahead of 5th T20I vs SA

Danish Kaneria has questioned the fitness standards of stand-in skipper Rishabh Pant

Danish Kaneria has questioned the fitness standards of stand-in skipper Rishabh Pant | Photo: AP/ ANI

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Former Pakistani spinner Danish Kaneria has raised questions about Rishabh Pant’s fitness.
  • Pant was appointed as the stand-in skipper of Team India for the South Africa series.
  • Pant-led Team India will meet the Proteas in the series decider on Sunday.
At a time when Rishabh Pant is busy earning plaudits for his impressive captaincy debut in the five-match T20I series between India and South Africa, former Pakistani spinner Danish Kaneria made a bizarre statement about the stand-in skipper ahead of the final meeting between the Proteas and the Asian Giants. Pant-led Team India will meet South Africa in the series decider at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

While the spotlight is on Pant and India’s bid to clinch a historic series win in the absence of skipper Rohit Sharma, deputy KL Rahul and former captain Virat Kohli, former Pakistani cricketer Kaneria has questioned the fitness standards of the stand-in leader of the Men In Blue. Speaking about India’s encounter with the Proteas on his YouTube channel, the tainted Pakistani cricketer even claimed that Pant is ‘overweight’.

“I want to talk about Pant’s wicketkeeping. I’ve noticed one thing – he doesn’t squat lower and sit on his toes when a fast bowler is bowling. Seems like he is overweight and being bulky doesn’t give him that much time to come up quickly. It raises concern about his fitness. Is he 100 per cent fit? But when it comes to his captain, bowlers and batters including Hardik and Karthik have supported him well. Pant also has a chance to become the first captain to win a T20 series against South Africa,” Kaneria said.

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Kaneria’s statement has come after Pant-led Team India thrashed South Africa in the 4th T20I to level the five-game series 2-2 at Rajkot. Veteran batter Dinesh Karthik slammed a match-winning 55 off 27 balls as Pant’s Team India recorded an 82-run win over the visitors. All-rounder Hardik Pandya also played a crucial knock of 46 in the Rajkot encounter.
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“India were struggling big time but Hardik and Karthik helped the team get to 169. Karthik loves to sweep and use his feet. Everything was going his way. It was a ‘DK Day’. He batted with maturity. Hardik also showed responsibility. He started off cautiously but produced big hits in the end. He played a gem of an innings,” Kaneria added.

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