Dhoni Pant
Dhoni Pant

Ex-India skipper MS Dhoni has always been a God-like figure to young Rishabh Pant, said Kolkata Knight Riders opener, Nitish Rana while downplaying comparisons between the two wicketkeeper-batsmen.

Rishabh Pant vs Dhoni

Rana said that Pant himself feels that he’s not ‘worthy’ of being compared to the World Cup-winning skipper.

Over the last 7-8 months, Pant has become central to Team India’s plans across formats. Pant has worked really hard on his fitness and become more consistent not just in his batting but also in wicket-keeping.

Having admired Dhoni as an emerging cricketer, Pant is following the footsteps of the Jharkhand-born wicket-keeper batsman. In fact, as per Indian cricketer Nitish Rana, Dhoni has a godly stature in Pant’s life.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

“He admires Mahi bhai a lot, to the extent that he sometimes says: ‘If there’s someone I want to see while awake and sleeping it will be Mahi bhai.’ He has even said to me, ‘Why are people comparing me with Mahi bhai, I am not worthy of comparison,’ and while folding his hands, ‘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.’ He is like a God to him,” Rana told IndiaTV Cricket.

Pant has been lauded by many as the next big thing in Indian cricket. Going by the performances he has started to produce of late, the Delhi-lad has started to instill fear in the minds of the opponent team’s bowlers.

According to Rana, it’s Pant’s self-belief that has taken him this far in his career.

“His strength is his self-belief. He never leaves that self-belief wherever he goes and whatever format he plays. I remember there was a time when people started criticizing him but he used to tell me: ‘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.’ The next match, he made a hundred something, it was during the last (2018-19) Australian tour,” recalls Rana.

Rishabh Pant is also an integral part of the Virat Kohli-led Indian team for the WTC finals against Kane Williamson New Zealand.