It was in January last year that India wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant became only the second wicket-keeper batsman ever to score Test centuries in England and Australia.
In a feat which even the mighty Mahendra Singh Dhoni hadn’t achieved in his playing days, Pant put on display signs of having it in him to fill the boots of the legendary player.
Upon the culmination of the Test series in Australia last year, India coach Ravi Shastri had disclosed how Pant used to be on the phone with Dhoni throughout the Test series.
In a recent Instagram live session with his Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Capitals, Pant claimed the former captain to be his “mentor” and talked about how he can approach him “freely”.
“He [MS Dhoni] has been like a mentor to me, on and off the field. I can approach him freely with any problem I may be facing, and he will never give me the entire solution for it,” Pant was quoted as saying.
Rishabh Pant reveals why MS Dhoni is among his favourite batting partners
Further speaking about Dhoni, Pant explained why Dhoni never gives him the entire solution to problems and also considered the latter to be among his “favourite batting partners”.
“This is so that I don’t become entirely dependent on him, he gives me hints only that helps me solve the issue myself. He’s also one of my favourite batting partners, though it’s not something that happens too often.
“If Mahi [Dhoni] bhai is at the crease, you know things are sorted. He’s got a plan in his head, and all you need to do is follow it,” Pant said.
Pant, who has played 14 white-ball matches alongside Dhoni, has scored 276 runs a below par average of 25.09 and a strike rate of 106.15 in those matches.
Pant, 22, has been recently seen falling off the radar in limited-over formats especially after the rise of Lokesh Rahul as a wicket-keeper batsman. After facing the axe in home Tests last year, Pant played a couple of Tests in New Zealand earlier this year but registered mediocre scores of 12, 4, 19 and 25.