Rishabh Pant has established his place as India’s permanent wicketkeeper across formats in the recent years. However, during his early days, the player was subjected to the talks that he is in the team merely for filling the void of MS Dhoni in future. MSD called time on his international career in 2020 and by then Pant had found a place for himself in the team.
More than just a replacement, it was the individuality of Pant which helped him earn a solid spot in the playing XI of India. However, right from the start of his career, he was always compared to Dhoni in terms of both batting and wicketkeeping skills. Pant was harshly criticised for any fault in wicketkeeping, rash shot selection and inability to step in the shoes of the former Indian skipper. Despite all, the determined young gun upped his game, maintained consistency and eventually impressed everyone, including his critics, with his performance at the highest level.
Why are people comparing me with Mahi bhai: Rishabh Pant
Indian batsman Nitish Rana opened up on Pant being compared to the Indian great. Rana expressed that Dhoni is a god-like figure to him and that he doesn't like being compared to the legend. “Why are people comparing me with Mahi bhai, I am not worthy of comparison. Stop comparing me with Mahi bhai, take my bat and everything else. I don't want to play, but don't compare me with Mahi bhai,” Rana revealed what Pant had said to him as quoted by India TV.
Rana further added that it’s Pant’s self-belief and determination to strive hard that has taken him this far, early on in his career. Rana recalled that there was a time when people started criticizing Pant but he used to tell him, "I am just one big innings away, the day I play that, everyone will be silent and I believe I am going to play that innings very soon."