Australian wicket-keeping great Adam Gilchrist on Tuesday advised embattled youngster Rishabh Pant to avoid trying being the next Mahendra Singh Dhoni just as the Australian himself didn’t try to be Ian Healy 2.0.
Pant has been struggling to hold on to his place in the Indian team despite a resounding start to his career with Test hundreds on debut tours in England and Australia. In Sunday’s Twenty20 match against Bangladesh, Pant also coped criticism for incorrect Decision-Review System calls.
Glichrist reiterated that 22-year-old Pant should only focus on being his own best version instead of trying to ape the iconic former captain, who is currently on a sabbatical.
He said: “My number one suggestion to Indian fans and journalists would be: Don’t attempt to compare him with MS Dhoni. The mould that they used to make Dhoni....they have mashed it up once he was made so that they make sure that there is not another one.”
Gilchrist, who held the record for most dismissal by an Australian wicket-keeper in One-Day Internationals, said he never tried to copy Healy when he came into the national team.
Gilchrist added, “I know from personal experience, I went after Ian Healy, who was picked in the best-ever Test cricket team in Australia. I just didn’t want to try to be Ian Healy. I wanted to learn from him but I wanted to be Adam Gilchrist and that would be my advice to Rishabh.”
Gilchrist, however, did urge the youngster to learn from Dhoni’s phenomenal career, during which he led India to two world titles.
“My advice would be to learn everything you possibly can, work as hard as you can but don’t try to be MS Dhoni. just try to be the best Rishabh Pant,” he said.
‘Hopeful of India-Australia D/N Test’
Gilchrist was also hopeful of India agreeing to play a Day/Night Test in his country next year after India were convinced to compete in their first pink ball match by new Board of Control for Cricket in India chief Sourav Ganguly.
India were requested to play a Day/Night Test in Australia during the 2018-’19 tour but the visitors had declined the offer. A year later, India will be playing their inaugural Test with pink ball against Bangladesh from November 22 in Kolkata.
“They would be here next summer after the T20 World Cup. I expect there will be a Day/Night Test there. I haven’t heard from Cricket Australia but I expect there would be one,” Glichrist said. “I was a reluctant starter of Day/night Tests but now I can totally see the positive outcomes that is going to help Test cricket stay relevant,” he added.
There have been 11 Day/Night Tests so far with Australia being involved in five of them. Australia and New Zealand were the first to play the format in 2015.
“There is going to teething issues, particularly in India with dew, working out what series, what venues and it is going to take a bit of time. I used to be worried about the statistic of the game, can you compare with Day/Night in twilight to batting in broad day light,” he explained.
“It is different. But there was a time we didn’t have covered wickets, helmets, so a lot of things have changed. It is a game that has evolved over time. So whatever it takes to keep it alive and now I am very supportive of Day/Night [Tests].
(with PTI inputs)