During India's tour of Australia in the 2018/19 season, Rishabh Pant became quite a superstar because of his verbal histrionics behind the stumps and also a hundred that he scored in front of them. The new host broadcasters of international cricket played in Australia, Channel 7, in a clever move, asked their commentators, at times, to stay quiet and let people hear what was being said on the field.
Now, many people in India thought that Pant was brilliant with his sledging of Australians. However, when one hears what was said by him without unnecessarily getting excited over the fact that an Indian keeper is trying to verbally target the Australians, he will discover that there wasn't anything special.
In fact, one can even argue that Pant's sledging was rather poor. On one occasion, his captain Virat Kohli can be heard, while standing at slip, asking the keeper to say a certain thing. This is proof that unlike a lot of sledging, what Pant was uttering wasn't instinctive or at the spur of the moment.
Instead, those were pre-prepared lines which he belted out at appropriate times. However, that doesn't mean that he didn't improvise. You can't plan your entire sledging strategy beforehand. On occasions when he did try to speak according to the situation, the Indian keeper-batsman came off as a poor agent provocateur.
The most prime example of this is one time when the broadcasters left the mic open and commentators silenced to hear what the Delhi boy was saying during an entire over that Ravichandran Ashwin bowled at Pat Cummins.
Pant was repeatedly reminding Cummins, indirectly, how difficult it is to bat on the pitch. Then, Ashwin bowled one delivery from wide of the crease which was well outside the off-stump and left easily by the batsman. Pant's reaction to this was: "Not putting away bad balls, yeah!"
A lot of people didn't realise it at the time but the wicket-keeper had accidently criticised his own team's leading spinner. By saying that the batsman is not putting away bad balls, he essentially described Ashwin's delivery as a bad ball.
Now, the game continued and Ashwin seemed too engrossed in his own bowling to take note of what was being said. But this goes to show that the left-hander has to be careful that he doesn't end up putting his own foot in his mouth while trying to unsettle the opposing batsmen. It also shows that far from being a good sledger, he is actually quite a clumsy one.