Ashish Nehra, former Indian fast bowler, is one of the highly regarded Indian players. The fast bowlers from Delhi, in a recent interview, has hailed Rishabh Pant as one of the future stars of Indian Cricket.
While comparing the youngster’s journey to his predecessor MS Dhoni, Nehra told to Times of India, “I don’t see anyone coming close to the impact he [Dhoni] has had as a wicketkeeper-batsman except for Rishabh Pant. His journey – though it is still early days – reminds me a lot of Dhoni.”
MS Dhoni made his international debut in 2004, when India were looking for an able Wicket Keeper batsman after Rahul Dravid shouldered the mantle behind the stumps in 2003 World Cup. Before MS Dhoni, the likes of Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel were given chances, but it was Dhoni’s innings against Pakistan that tilted the odds in the favour of MS Dhoni. In a whirlwind innings of 148 runs, Dhoni tore apart the Pakistani bowling attack with unbelievable hitting.
Ashish Nehra also talked about the brashness and unorthodox methods that Dhoni and Pant have equipped in their career so far. “Dinesh Karthik was an exceptional talent with sound technique. But Dhoni did what DK and Parthiv couldn’t — make the most of his opportunities. Dhoni may not have been the best-looking batsman or a sound wicketkeeper, but he certainly was the best wicketkeeper-batsman,” Ashish Nehra added.
Now, after the World Cup 2019, Rishabh Pant also finds himself in the same position. The left handed youngster with audacious shots and breath-taking hitting ability, has been permanently inducted into the squad just after the Cricket World Cup 2019 and in a span of few months after that he became an all format wicket-keeper batsman for India.
But 6 months later, Pant now finds himself fighting for a chance in the playing XI across formats. The youngster has been given numerous chances across formats in the period but Pant never came close to make the spot his own in any format.
However, with the Selectors and Cricket Pundits still favouring the youngster to come good, only time will tell what future holds for the dashing left-hander.