Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal opened up about wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant going under extreme pressure when he was booed with the chants of MS Dhoni’s name in 2019.
Just after the 2019 World Cup, when MS Dhoni wasn’t part of the Indian team before he declared his retirement in August 2020. The responsibility of donning the gloves came on Delhi player Rishabh Pant’s head.
Everyone wanted Rishabh Pant to be like Mahi bhai: Yuzvendra Chahal
Pant did struggle in the initial phase of his career not only on the field but also faced the wrath of cricket experts for his approach with the bat as he used to go after the bowlers right from the first ball and sometimes would end up gifting his wicket.
Chahal opened up on how the crowd would shout Dhoni’s name after Pant made an error behind the stumps and how it affected the youngster then.
“Actually, everyone wanted him (Pant) to be like Mahi bhai. The way MSD was behind the stumps. I remember if Pant would ever drop any catch or the DRS went wrong, then the whole ground would start shouting ‘Mahi Mahi’.
“So, there was a lot of pressure on that child (Pant)… because he was only around 19 or 20 years old at that time. We would tell him to ignore all these things and focus on your game. He was under tremendous pressure…then he was also out of the team for a while,” Chahal told SGTV.
Bowlers are now getting good help from Rishabh Pant being behind the stump: Yuzvendra Chahal
Pant has made drastic changes in his career since cricket restarted amid the COVID-19 pandemic times. The flamboyant batsman became India’s architect during the final Test against Australia in Brisbane, where India scripted one of the best run chases in the history of Test cricket.
Chahal said that Pant is assisting the bowlers from behind the stumps and requested fans not to draw any comparison between him and Dhoni.
“He made a superb comeback. He has improved a lot; he has shown a lot of maturity. His performance has been really good, and I guess people should understand that when a sportsperson is on the ground, he tries his best, and nobody wants to perform badly. People should give a little respect to the player,” Chahal said.
“Bowlers are now getting good help from Pant being behind the stumps. See, there is no replacement for any player. There can be no replacement for Mahi bhai. Pant is trying his best to do better and better. No need to do comparisons,” he added.
Rishabh Pant is currently leading Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021, with the team topped the points table with 10 wins from 14 matches. Pant’s Capitals will clash with MS Dhoni’s CSK in Qualifier 1 on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.