Rishabh Pant, who is enduring a woeful patch of form after having exploded onto international cricket over the last few years, is putting needless pressure on himself by trying to fit into the giant shoes of MS Dhoni, said India chief selector and former national team wicketkeeper MSK Prasad.
Speaking to PTI on Wednesday, Prasad said, “Rishabh Pant should realize that he has his own identity and he should never compare himself with MS Dhoni. I feel this is working on his mind. MSD has built his career and image playing for over a decade and half. His confidence stems from his stellar performances both at domestic and international levels.”
“Suddenly when one starts comparing himself with that legend, then subconsciously you are putting enormous pressure on yourself. Personally I feel Rishabh is an unbelievable talent and he should believe and back his abilities and instincts rather than stepping into someone else’s shoes,” he added.
Pant had been released from the India Test squad, with Wriddhiman Saha having wrested back the wicketkeeper’s spot in the Test XI, last week to let him turn out in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy tournament for Delhi. However, he has failed to set the stage alight on his return to the fold of domestic cricket too.
Opening the batting for Delhi, Pant laboured to a 32-ball 28 in a chase of 182 last week, as Delhi lost. On Wednesday, he opened the batting again and scored a 27-ball 30, as Delhi again lost.
Pant has batted his last six T20 innings – 30(27) vs Rajasthan, 28(32) vs Haryana, 6(9) vs Bangladesh, 27(26) vs Bangladesh, 19(20) vs South Africa, 4(5) vs South Africa – at a strike rate below 115. Before this streak, he had never had two consecutive T20 innings with a strike rate less than 115.