New Delhi: While batting legend Sunil Gavaskar labelled Hardik Pandya's callous run-out as 'unforgivable' on commentary, the Indian allrounder's bizarre effort, or the lack of it, came in for severe criticism on social media during the third day's play of the second Test between India and South Africa at Centurion.
A schoolboy lesson of dragging the bat into the crease while completing a run would have saved Pandya but he chose to walk into the crease and found himself short of it as Vernon Philander threw down the stumps direct.
Pandya wanted a run having tapped the ball to mid-on. Virat Kohli sent him back well in time but for the Indian allrounder's elementary error that Sanjay Manjrekar attributed to his "arrogance". On replays, Pandya's foot and bat were caught in the air when Philander's throw disturbed the stumps.
— Waѕiyullah Budye (@WasiyullahB) January 15, 2018
Former India batsman Manjrekar took to Twitter, saying: "Early lesson for Hardik Pandya that this game will come to bite you back if you let confidence become arrogance."
Interestingly, after his century in Sri Lanka and all-round exploits in the first Test against South Africa at Newlands, he was once again compared to the legendary Kapil Dev. But those comparisons can, for now, rest in the stat that Kapil was never run-out in his entire Test career, leave alone in a silly way as Pandya was on Saturday.
— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) January 15, 2018
Former India opener Aakash Chopra, meanwhile, called it "inexplicable".
Schoolboy Error.....could possibly cost India the match. Inexplicable. #SAvIND
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 15, 2018
Hardik Pandya balancing out all the good things he has done on the tour. If you don't respect the game enough, it'll come back to bite you hard. #SAvIND
— Aakash Bang (@ABCricket19) January 15, 2018
Everyone talked about the importance of the first hour, and how it can change the landscape of this game.
Hardik Pandya's carelessness has overturned everything. #SAvsIND
— Gautam Sodhi (@GautamSodhi1) January 15, 2018
Virat Kohli, meanwhile, completed his 21st Test century and was unbeaten on 141 at lunch on Day 3 at Centurion, with India's score reading 287/8, trailing South Africa by 48 runs in the first innings.