India’s new record-holder wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has described Mahendra Singh Dhoni as “the hero of the country” and said the former skipper taught him to be patient and handle pressure situations.
Pant, on Monday, equalled the world record of most catches in a Test by a wicket-keeper, snaring 11 in India’s win in the first Test against Australia.
The 21-year-old is now level with Englishman Jack Russell (vs South Africa at Johannesburg in 1995) and South Africa’s AB de Villiers (vs Pakistan at Johannesburg in 2013). He also eclipsed the India record of 10 catches in a game by Wriddhiman Saha.
Speaking about Dhoni after the win, Pant said he’s learned a lot from his mentor.
“He’s the hero of the country,” Pant said of Dhoni. “I’ve learnt a lot from him as a person and as a cricketer as well.
“Whenever he’s around, I feel more confident as a person. If I’ve got any problems I can share it with him and get a solution right away. As a wicketkeeper and a player (he’s taught me) to be patient in pressure situations like this (in Adelaide). You have to keep calm and keep composed and try to give 100 per cent.”
Pant also said he wasn’t too fussed about milestones.
“I never thought of the record but it’s good to take some catches and put it inside my kitty,” Pant told cricket.com.au.
“It’s good to have milestones, but I’m not thinking about that too much.”
Pant’s 11 catches in India’s 31-run victory over Australia in Adelaide broke many records:
- The most catches by any Indian in a Test match. Wriddhiman Saha held the previous record with 10 while MS Dhoni had taken nine in an innings.
- Equalled all-time the record for most catches in a Test match (along with Jack Russell and AB de Villiers)
- The most catches taken by a visiting wicket-keeper he in Australia
- Six catches in Australia’s first innings, the most by any gloveman in one innings at the venue and the equal-most by an Indian keeper worldwide, joining Dhoni on that mark.
India won the first Test after a lower order fightback from Australia threatened a stunning turnaround.
“It was really nervous as they were coming close, but we did well,” he said after the win.
“I’m very happy to contribute to the team, first time getting to this milestone.”
Pant also caught the attention of fans for his chirping from behind the stumps which became viral on social media.
“I always enjoy troubling batsmen. I love it when they concentrate on me and not on the bowlers.”