Replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a tough job. Ask Rishabh Pant who was thrusted into the Indian cricket team as a potential successor to probably India’s best-ever wicketkeeper-batsman.
Despite his glowing talent, Pant struggled has struggled for consistence in the Indian team and was even replaced by KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper in ODIs and T20Is earlier this year.
BCCI’s former chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, revealed what could have bogged down the young wicketkeeper-batsman in the blue jersey of India.
“Every time when Rishabh steps in, he is always compared with MS Dhoni, and probably, he is also getting caught in that euphoria. Many times, we spoke to him that he has to get over it,” Prasad told Sportskeeda.
“He always was in this shadow of MSD. He started comparing himself with him. He started sort of copying him, even in mannerisms and all, if you see the way he does all that sort of stuff,” he added.
Prasad discussed the issue with Pant, explaining the need to be himself.
“’Mahi is an absolutely different personality, and you are different, you are also phenomenal, you also have talent, that’s why we are backing you,” the team management used to tell Pant,” he said.
Pant has shown promise in the longest format of the game though, scoring centuries in both England and Australia but consistency has been an issue for the 22-year-old especially in the limited-overs format where he can be extremely destructive if on song.
Pant averages a decent 38.8 in Tests but his average in ODIs is only 26.7. He has been a good performer in the IPL though and would like to reclaim his position in the Indian side with another strong showing for Delhi Capitals this season.
The 13th edition of the IPL begins on September 19 in the UAE.