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India vs New Zealand: Yuvraj Singh Defends Rishabh Pant As Kevin Pietersen Slams Him

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Rishabh Pant was slammed for his shot selection as India lost to New Zealand by 18 runs in the semi-final at Old Trafford.

News18 Sports

Updated:July 11, 2019, 7:44 PM IST
India vs New Zealand: Yuvraj Singh Defends Rishabh Pant As Kevin Pietersen Slams Him
Rishabh Pant got out for 32 leaving India 71/5 vs New Zealand in World Cup semi-final. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

India's 2011 World Cup star Yuvraj Singh defended Rishabh Pant after India's 18-run loss to New Zealand in the 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final on Wednesday, when a large part of the cricket fraternity including Kevin Pietersen slammed the youngster for his dismissal.

A few days ago, Yuvraj had also tweeted in support of Pant and had said that India had found their No.4 batsman in the Delhi player and needed to back him well.

After Wednesday's loss as Pant was slammed for trying to go for an extravagant shot and hit the ball for a six despite having spent time on the pitch, Yuvraj came to his rescue.

"How many times have we seen @RishabPant777 do that?????!!!!! The very reason he wasn't picked initially! Pathetic!," Pietersen tweeted after Pant's dismissal to Mitchell Santner at Old Trafford.

Yuvraj, however, replied, "He's played 8 ODIs ! It's not his fault he will learn and get better it's not pathetic at all ! However we all are entitled to share our opinions."

Indian captain Virat Kohli had also defended Pant after the match and believed that the immensely talented 21-year-old will learn from his mistake.

"He (Pant) is an instinctive player and did well to overcome that situation and string a partnership with Hardik (Pandya). I think the way they played after the loss of three wickets, four wickets rather, was quite commendable. I am sure he will reflect on it and he will come out stronger.

"He's still young. I made many errors when I was young in my career and he will learn. He will look back and think yes, he could have chosen a different option in that situation and he realises that already," Kohli defended Pant.

"So all these guys have a lot of pride and passion to play for their country and they are the ones who feel the most disappointed when a mistake happens. From the outside it looks like it was an error but the person who makes it, trust me, they are the ones who suffer the most with it," Kohli added.

Pietersen, however, justified his criticism of Pant saying it's frustrating to see him make these mistakes again and again despite knowing how good he is and Yuvraj agreed.

India were 71 for five when Pant got out.

(With PTI inputs)

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