Is Rishabh Pant a rightful successor of MS Dhoni in Indian Cricket Team?

Rishabh Pant is one of the best emerging talents who has risen through the ranks in the past few years. Pant has a destructive batting ability and strokes which helps him to score runs easily. He relies on his ability to hit boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking. Pant on more than one occasion has proved his importance in the Indian playing eleven.

MS Dhoni is one of the jewels that Indian Cricket has produced in the past decade. His ability to grasp the situation, adjusting his playstyle, his shift from gear one to gear six has made him what he is today. Other than his batting skills Dhoni’s unorthodox approach of wicket keeping and his captaincy made him even a more reliable asset for the team. In tough times Dhoni came out to bat in the middle to rescue his team even from the toughest situations. Whether you consider his sensational 72 not out knock at Lahore against Pakistan or his breathtaking innings in the 2011 World cup final. To fill in the boots of a player like Dhoni you need to outperform day in and day out.

Rishabh Pant at this stage of his career is not far behind Dhoni. But still, he is a long way off. Pant tends to play with a single mindset. No matter what situation he is stuck in, his natural mindset of targeting boundaries doesn’t change. This mindset is a double-edged sword for him as well as the opposition. Hitting boundaries indeed takes the pressure off the batsman as well as the team. But one should know in which situation one should hold on to his wicket and when to target the bowlers. With Dhoni, he was aware of how things may pan out if he only takes a single from the next over. On the other hand, Pant still needs to work on his ability to understand what situation he is in.

A lot of people believe this mentality is a result of him being an amateur. But it doesn’t hide the fact that he plays aggressively because he wants to. His instinct is to score runs as quickly as possible.

As a wicket-keeping batsman, Pant is expected to play the role of the traditional keeper. With the invention of DRS, the role of the keeper is more important than ever. From the perspective of Pant as a wicket-keeper, he has to work hard on his skills as a keeper. His decision making in such situations has not been up to the mark. Some players are technically flawless as a wicketkeeper one such as Wriddhiman Saha. KL Rahul, Sanju Sampson and Ishan Kishan are other options who can do a better job than Pant in terms of wicket keeping.

Rishabh Pant has everything which he needs to be the best wicket-keeping batsmen in the world. He has the backing of the management, his captain and his team. Pant possesses the skills of a finisher as well as a player who can improvise his game at any point in the match. But what he needs right now is to bring in the maturity aspect as his teams and fans expect from him. Pant still has time to learn and can shape himself in any way he wants. All he needs is to work hard on his game and one day he can fill in the boots left by MS Dhoni.

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