India’s Rishabh Pant, who overnight became the most adored person of the country after his Gabba heroics, asserted that while the Dhoni comparisons flatter him, he wants to leave his own mark in the world of cricket. Pant finished as India’s highest run-getter in the triumph over Australia.
Thanks to being earmarked as the ‘next MS Dhoni’, Rishabh Pant has carried the burden of expectations right from his debut three years ago. A ludicrously talented batsman who was never the greatest of wicket-keepers to start off with, the Dhoni comparisons have haunted Pant throughout his career, to the point where he, at times, has even been jeered by his own fans for minute slip-ups. Yet with his performance in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the 23-year-old has gone a long way in burning those comparisons once and for all.
With 274 runs to his name, Pant finished as the country’s highest run-getter in the series - despite playing only 3 Tests - but most importantly played two fourth-innings classics that will go down in the history books as two of the greatest ever. His 89* at the Gabba helped the country register its greatest ever series win, after which, for the first time in his career, the youngster was adored and celebrated for who he really was, and not chastised for who he wasn’t.
Now, on the back of his mind-bogglingly good showing in Australia, Pant has insisted that while he enjoys the Dhoni comparisons, all he wants is to make a name for himself in world cricket.
“You feel amazing when you are compared to someone like MS Dhoni and you compare me with him,” Pant told reporters on Thursday, reported Indian Express.
“It’s amazing but I don’t want to be compared with anyone, I want to make myself as a name in Indian cricket, because it’s not good compare some legend with some youngster.”
The Australia series was a career-defining tour for Pant, who played vital hands with the bat in each of the three Tests he played, despite not being at his best behind the wickets. The southpaw embodied the spirit which enabled the depleted visiting side to stage the most unlikely comeback, and gave a glimpse into the glorious future of Indian cricket. The number one ranked wicket-keeper batsman expressed that the whole team was pleased with how they performed in Australia.
“I think the whole team is very happy with the way we played the series in Australia,” he said.
Pant and the rest of the Indian players landed in India today, and will have a five-day break before entering yet another bio-bubble on January 27, for the Tests against England.