‘Everyone wanted him to be like Dhoni. He was under tremendous pressure’: Chahal recalls Pant's struggle in initial days

Yuzvendra Chahal recently recalled Pant’s initial struggle, when spectators at the stadium used to chant ‘Dhoni Dhoni,’ to tease the youngster.
Rishabh Pant: File Photo(Twitter)
Rishabh Pant: File Photo(Twitter)
Updated on Oct 10, 2021 07:14 PM IST
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Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant is gearing up for an all-important playoff game against Chennai Super Kings in Dubai on Sunday. The youngster will be up against his mentor and former India skipper MS Dhoni in what’s going to be a cracker of a contest in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 Qualifier 1. 

Pant has done a commendable job as a captain this season. Under his leadership, DC not only produced some terrific performances but also ended up the league stage being on top of the points table. On the performance front, the left-hand batter has been in great form ever since his comeback in Test cricket last year in Australia.

ALSO READ | IPL 2021 Qualifier 1, DC vs CSK Live Updtaes

Pant’s road to success was full of obstacles and it’s not an unknown fact. Be it criticism from fans or his inconsistency on the field, he has to go through a rough phase in his career before getting recognised as an established player. His India teammate Yuzvendra Chahal recently recalled Pant’s initial struggle, when spectators at the stadium used to chant ‘Dhoni Dhoni,’ to tease the youngster. 

During a chat with SGTV, Chahal said everyone wanted Pant to be like Dhoni behind the wickets and the expectation of fans put immense pressure on the youngster in his early days.

“Actually, everyone wanted him (Pant) to be like Mahi bhai. The way MSD was behind the stumps. I remember if Pant would ever drop any catch or the DRS went wrong, then the whole ground would start shouting Mahi Mahi,” Chahal told SGTV.

“So, there was a lot of pressure on Pant, because he was only around 19 or 20 years old at that time. We would tell him to ignore all these things and focus on your game. He was under tremendous pressure then he was also out of the team for a while," added Chahal.

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Chahal also appreciated Pant for making a strong comeback and showing immense maturity in the last couple of years.

“He made a superb comeback. He has improved a lot; he has shown a lot of maturity. His performance has been really good and I guess people should understand that when a sportsperson is on the ground, he tries his best, and nobody wants to perform badly. People should give a little respect to the player,” Chahal said.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021