Rishabh Pant, the flamboyant wicket-keeper batsman, received firm backing from the then Chairman of Selectors in India, MSK Prasad.
Pant was provided with the much-needed start to his international career. He paid rich dividends for the faith entrusted on him, with impressive Test tons at Oval and Sydney in the 2018-19 season.
The Delhi cricketer, of-late, has been a subject of criticism regarding his tendency to throw away his wicket in pursuit of exuberance. Pant also had enormous shoes to fill, with the departure of veteran MS Dhoni.
During the 2020 ODI series against Australia and New Zealand, Pant lost his place in the Indian side as the first choice-wicketkeeper.
KL Rahul, in no time, took over his duties and received backing from skipper Virat Kohli, who looked at the greater balance in the side.
Now, Prasad has listed out Pant’s shortcomings by claiming that the latter tried to emulate MSD and started ‘copying’ him.
“Every time Rishabh steps in, he is compared with MS Dhoni, and probably, he also got caught in that euphoria. Many times we spoke to him that he has to get over it – 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,” 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. Fortunately for him now that MS has retired. I think he will definitely come out of that shadow and evolve into a much, much better player,” he added.
Prasad continues to back Pant’s talent
Prasad, however, continued to back Pant’s potential by listing out his credentials in red-ball cricket.
“Only wicketkeeper-batsman in the history of Indian cricket who has got a hundred against Australia in Australia, and a hundred against England in England, in a Test series. So if somebody can do that, that means he has the potential,” Prasad concluded.