Rishabh Pant has been under fire since the end of the fourth One-Day International between India and Australia in Mohali. The youngster had big shoes to fill as he had replaced MS Dhoni with the latter being rested for the last two ODIs. A good performance in the game would have definitely enhanced his ever-growing reputation. However, Pant failed to live up to the expectation behind the stumps after playing an impressive cameo with the bat.
It all started in the in the 44th over of the Australian innings when Pant missed a straight forward stumping chance to dismiss Ashton Turner on 38. Turner went on to play a match-winning knock of 84 from just 43 balls and help Australia level the 5-match series at 2-2. He also missed several other chances as the fans in the stadium made their displeasure clear shouting ‘Dhoni, Dhoni…’.
And as the youngster gears up to make amends in the fifth ODI on Wednesday, India bowling coach Bharat Arun on Tuesday said “it is unfair to compare the newcomer to a legend”.
“Unfair to compare Dhoni and Pant. Dhoni’s stature is huge. He is a legend. His work behind the stumps is exemplary,” he said.
“MSD is a huge influence on the team. We will be trying out different combinations. Not necessarily these combinations will be in the World Cup. Any mistakes, hiccups have to be now. We are extremely cautious,” he added.
Keeping in mind the workload of the players, the Indian team on Tuesday did not train ahead of the final game against Australia at the Kotla.
“Considering the workload and the back-to-back matches, we wanted to be mentally fit for the big one,” he said.
Arun also spoke on last game’s hero Ashton Turner, crediting him for the brilliant performance while also defending the bowlers.
“If you see, the success of our bowlers has been more than 75 percent. These things do happen (last game) and I am happy that it happened now and it shows us areas where we can improve before the World Cup.
“You should give credit to the knock Ashton played. Dew played a crucial role — but I am not trying to give excuses. We didn’t bowl as well we had planned for him, but we will comeback stronger,” he explained.