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From IPL contract to wicket-keeping, MS Dhoni advised me on everything, says Rishabh Pant

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From IPL contract to wicket-keeping, MS Dhoni advised me on everything, says Rishabh Pant

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SportsCafe Desk

07/25/2018

Rishabh Pant has revealed that Mahendra Singh Dhoni has played a major role in his career by advising him on various issues, be it wicket-keeping or the IPL contract. The young wicket-keeper batsman has recently been included in the Indian Test squad for the upcoming Test series against England.

The 20-year-old came into the reckoning after his performances for India Under-19 in the 2016 World Cup. He then made his Indian Premier League debut for the Delhi Daredevils against the Gujarat Lions, where his performances did not go unnoticed and he soon debuted for the Indian team (senior) against England in a T20 International, but his international journey has mostly been a start-stop one.

Pant got picked in the Indian squad for the Test series against England recently in the absence of the main wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha. After M.S. Dhoni's retirement from the longest format, Saha has grabbed the opportunity with both hands. On the other hand, Dhoni's presence in the shorter formats has never really demanded another wicket-keeper.

However, Dhoni never stopped guiding the youngsters in any situation and Pant spoke about the role the former Indian captain has played in his career and the technical advice he got related to wicket-keeping in an interview to bcci.tv. Dhoni advised him to keep a still head (and body) while keeping so as to watch the ball properly.

“Mahi bhai has always been there for me. From my IPL contract to my wicket-keeping, he has advised me on everything. He has always told me to have a good hand and eye coordination while keeping. He keeps telling me to maintain the body balance which has helped me a lot,” Pant said.

The southpaw also revealed that the one thing which stood out in the team was the positivity inside the dressing room and the way they work together as a unit.

“Whenever I’ve been to the Indian dressing room, I have felt the positivity. Everyone supports and backs each other,” he revealed.

Speaking about the change of gears from one format to the other, Pant focused on the time and over limitation difference among the formats. He felt that a player settles down slowly with the kind of field settings in the longest format in comparison to the shorter ones. He further stated the importance of getting used to English conditions (offering a lot of swing).

“I feel shot selection becomes a major difference in the longest format. In red ball cricket, with the field placements, you can take your time because of the five days. Whereas in the shorter formats, you have a lot of restrictions. The Dukes swings a lot. I experienced it while playing for India A and realized that swing would play a major role in these conditions,” Pant said.

Pant was coached by Rahul Dravid during the under-19 tour and revealed that Dravid always advised him to be patient and work hard according to the situation of the game.

“Dravid sir keeps telling me to be patient on and off the field. He told me to work hard on my game and play according to the situation in red ball cricket (keep changing the pace of the game accordingly),” he said.

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