Rishabh Pant has been backed to be MS Dhoni's successor for India. (AFP Image)
Wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has admitted that he does in fact think about comparisons drawn between himself and MS Dhoni but explains it’s impossible to be in the league of India’s most successful captain in such a short period of time.
Ever since his Test debut against England last year, plenty of parallels have been drawn between Pant and Dhoni, especially due to their nature of explosive batting. Pant is believed to be India’s next figure behind the stumps once Dhoni retires and its process has already begun with the 21-year-old keeping wickets in the Caribbean and for the T20I series against West Indies.
“I do think about the comparison with Dhoni sometimes, but it’s too difficult,” Pant told Bombay Times. “If I am learning from him, I can’t possibly think that I can be in his league overnight. I am just trying to learn from him. I consider him my mentor. He has taught me so many things — be it how to work on my batting or mind-set before I go to bat, and most importantly, keeping calm in pressure situations.”
Pant has so far played 12 ODIs and 18 T20Is for India for has had a lukewarm start to his career in limited-over format, scoring just two half-centuries. After being ignored initially in India’s World Cup squad, he was drafted in after an injury to Shikhar Dhawan forced the opener out of the tournament. With Dhoni omitted from the tour of West Indies, Pant scored a single half-century from 10 innings.
However, with the South Africa series coming up, Pant hopes to convert starts but understands he has to remove the Dhoni comparisons from his head.
“At 21, if I start thinking that I have to fill Dhoni’s shoes, it will get very difficult for me. I just try to keep it simple. I want to play the game to the best of my ability and learn from everyone around me, especially my seniors,” Pant added.