‘He lays out the plan and you just have to follow’: Rishabh Pant names his favourite batting partner
Rishabh Pant has picked MS Dhoni as his favourite batting partner among Indian cricketers. Pant, who has struggled to cement a place for himself in India’s limited-overs set-up called the experience of batting with Dhoni an ‘experience in itself,’ and even though it’s pretty rare having seen Pant and Dhoni bat together, the young wicketkeeper finds the experience quite fruitful.
“My favourite batting partner is Dhoni but it’s very rare that I get the chance to bat with him. If he’s out there, everything remains sorted. He lays out the plan and you just have to follow his lead. The way his mind works is amazing, especially during chases,” Pant said during a Twitter interaction with Delhi Capitals.
Besides Dhoni, Pant has singled out all the senior members of the team – Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan – fun to bat with. Pant has batted with Rohit and Kohli a handful of times since making his ODI debut in late 2018, while he and Dhawan have been involved in many partnerships for the Capitals.
“I enjoy batting even with Virat bhai and Rohit bhai... actually, whenever you’re batting with any of these seniors, it’s a different experience altogether. You have fun with them. You realise how their mind works. It’s a different chemistry... even with Iyer and Shiki bhai (Dhawan) in the IPL,” Pant added.
Pant has been a curious case for India in the past few years. The left-handed explosive batsman made a name for himself in the Indian Premier League with his free flowing attacking shots, and his ability to hit boundaries at will. The young wicketkeeper-batsman was largely seen as the replacement for Mahendra Singh Dhoni when the former India cricketer decides to hang up his boots. But the year 2019 was not the best for Pant, who saw himself constantly being in and out of team, and also faced criticism from fans for inconsistent performances.
Though, in IPL, Pant has been sensational over the years, and has been one of the most consistent performers for the Delhi Capitals franchise. Every opposition in IPL knows that till the time Pant is in the middle, the game is far from over.
Delhi Capitals assistant coach Mohammad Kaif, in a recent interaction, explained the one thing which is missing for Pant when he plays for India, which he has going for him when he plays for Delhi Capitals.
“Rishabh Pant is a free-flowing player. You have to set his batting position, that he will bat at this position and he will get this many overs to play. He needs to be clear in his head that he will get this many overs so that he is not thinking whether he needs to take singles, or if he needs to defend. He is an attacking batsman, he should start hitting attacking shots from the first ball,” Kaif told former India cricketer Aakash Chopra in his Youtube chat show ‘Aakash Vani’.