Rishabh Pant has for long been compared with the legendary MS Dhoni with the youngster widely projected as the next big thing in Indian cricket. With Dhoni retiring from international cricket last year, there’s a huge void in India’s limited-overs setup team.
And Pant is expected to step into the big shoes of Dhoni. And then there are the inevitable comparisons.
The cricketer first encountered his share of criticism for inconsistency behind the stumps and questionable shot selection. But, he has proved himself with game-changing performances on Australia tour and against England at home earlier this year.
He has now emerged as a big match-winner.
But even today, Pant keeps himself away when it comes to comparison with Dhoni. He has been constantly working on his fitness and trying for more consistency in both the departments - batting and wicketkeeping.
The 23-year-old has always admired Dhoni and is currently walking in his footsteps.
And as per Indian cricketer Nitish Rana, Dhoni holds a godly stature in Pant’s life.
In a conversation with India TV, Rana said that Pant himself feels that he is not “worthy” to be compared to the former India captain.
He revealed that Pant had once told him (with folded hands) to take away his bat as he does not wish to play cricket if people will compare him with Mahi bhai. “He is like a God to him," Rana claimed.
Rana believes that it is Pant’s self-belief that has brought him this far in his cricket career.
Recalling the time when Pant was facing criticism for his poor performances, Rana said the wicketkeeper told him that he is just one big inning away and the day he plays that inning, everyone will be silent.
And in the very next match, he struck a century (during the 2018-19 Australian tour) Rana said.