Ever since Rishabh Pant made his way into the Indian cricket team in 2017, he has been compared to the former Indian captain MS Dhoni. However, Pant’s childhood coach Tarak Sinha has never been pleased with his pupil being compared to the legend.

“A lesser player would have wilted under pressure with such comparison (with Dhoni) but as I keep saying that Pant’s willpower is his extraordinary asset and he kept the focus on improving his game," coach Sinha told Cricket Next.

"Pant was told that he is a one dimensional stroke player and soon he added more strokes in his armory." 

Pant’s coach further explained that the youngster should be given time like Dhoni to adjust and get a good understanding of his game and demands. 

“Undoubtedly, Pant is a game changer and a great learner but why such obsession with Dhoni-comparison all the time? You must acknowledge the fact that it also took a while for Dhoni to show the world what he was capable of. We need to be patient with Pant. His time will also come. It has just started,” Sinha added. 

Today, Pant is India’s leading wicket-keeper batsman across formats. The diminutive cricketer established his position after his impressive performance in Australia earlier in the year. Later, Pant also excelled with his audacious stroke-play and also silenced his critics with clinical glovework against England in February-March. 

The 23-year-old was also seen leading the Delhi side in the 2021 edition of the Indian T20 league, before it was postponed due to the rising Covid-19 cases in the country. 

Given his recent form and confidence, the Delhi gloveman is certain to be a part of the playing XI for the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in Southampton on June 18. 

Pant has represented India in 20 Tests, 18 ODIs and 33 T20Is till now.

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Featured photo: Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP