Ashish Nehra, the former Indian fast bowler, has been pretty impressed with Rishabh Pant’s progress thus far at the highest level. Though Pant made his debut in 2017, it was only since India’s tour of England in 2018 that the southpaw has featured regularly in the national team. Though he has lacked consistency, the team management has backed him to flourish in the future.
Nehra was happy with Pant to such an extent that he compared the left-hander’s journey thus far to that of MS Dhoni. The latter was a brash personality to start with, but the leadership mantle made him a responsible figure. At the age of 38, Dhoni is being deemed as one of the greatest Indian cricketers.
Dhoni was the best wicketkeeper-batsman: Ashish Nehra
“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.” Nehra was quoted as saying in The Times of India (TOI).
Before Dhoni came to the fore, Rahul Dravid shouldered the mantle behind the stumps. The likes of Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel were given chances. However, they couldn’t live up to their potential for Team India. Nehra reckoned that though he wasn’t the best keeper, Dhoni was the best wicketkeeper batsman.
“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,” he added.
Though Karthik and Parthiv managed to stay in contention, Dhoni had already become the first-choice keeper. 15 years ago, Dhoni pummelled the Pakistan bowling to score 148 runs off 123 balls in only his fifth ODI. Then in 2005, he raced away to a 183 against Sri Lanka.
Nehra said that the innings versus Pakistan was of great significance in Indian cricket. Nehra mentioned that Dhoni’s confidence was his strength and the team believed that it could get a proper wicketkeeper batsman. Even as Dhoni is at the fag end of his career, Pant is still trying to make his mark.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- You have to stop comparing Rishabh Pant to MS Dhoni: Gautam Gambhir
- Sanjay Bangar picks Rishabh Pant as MS Dhoni’s ideal replacement in Indian side
- Brian Lara picks his strongest contender to take over MS Dhoni
- IPL 2020: Dream11 releases its promotional song ft. Dhoni, Rohit, Hardik, Dhawan, Bumrah and Rishabh
- Rishabh Pant gets caught in the euphoria of comparisons with MS Dhoni: MSK Prasad