Former India captain MS Dhoni is undoubtedly one of the legends of the game and has inspired many cricketers, not just in India but all around the world. Indian wicketkeeper-batsman and Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant is one such cricketer inspired by Dhoni, to the point that he revers him like a ‘God’.
Pant’s teammate in Delhi Ranji team and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Nitish Rana has revealed that the young wicketkeeper considers Dhoni ‘like a God’.
“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 was quoted as saying by India TV.
Over the last year, Pant has become central to Team India’s gameplan across formats. Pant has worked really hard on his fitness and become more consistent not just in his batting but also in wicketkeeping.
The 23-year-old Delhi wicketkeeper has been lauded by many as the next big thing in Indian cricket. 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.
“Then he called me back and shared those memes and told me: ‘See, this is how people change. First, they used to say this and now see what they are saying’. He’s very positive in his life and has immense self-belief and that’s his biggest strength,” added Ran