Ever since MS Dhoni made himself unavailable for selection after the 2019 World Cup, Rishabh Pant was touted as the natural successor to the former Indian captain. However, in the many limited-overs matches that followed, Pant's performances remained fairly inconsistent.
Pant further bore the pressure of comparisons with Dhoni every time he stepped out on the field, and former Indian chief of selectors MSK Prasad has said that the youngster needs to make an identity of his own.
“Every time when Rishabh steps in, he is always compared with MS Dhoni, and probably, he is also getting caught in that euphoria. Many times, we spoke to him that he has to get over it,” Prasad said in an interview with Sportskeeda.
“He always was in this shadow of MSD. He started comparing himself with him. He started sort of copying him, even in mannerisms and all, if you see the way he does all that sort of stuff.”
Pant eventually lost his place in the playing XI in limited overs to KL Rahul. The Karnataka batsman donned the wicketkeeping gloves after Pant faced an injury during the ODI series against Australia, and performed impressively in his absence.
With Dhoni announcing his retirement in August, the competition for the wicketkeeping position is now between Rahul and Pant.
Pant will be aiming to return to form when he takes the field after more than six months of absence when he takes the field for Delhi Capitals in the IPL. Rahul, too, will join Pant as he leads Kings XI Punjab in the tournament.