Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

When aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant started his international career, legendry MS Dhoni was way past his best. However, the fans had a hard time accepting it. 

As a result, there were regular ‘Dhoni…Dhoni’ chants whenever Pant faltered behind the stumps. The attacking left-hander, who has come a long way since then, establishing himself as one of the clutch members of the team, recollected that it did hurt him at that time.

Even there were times when Pant went to his room and cried because of the constant criticism and the comparisons with Dhoni. 

“I used to really feel very bad. I used to go back to my room and cry at 20-21 years of age. Under stress, I couldn’t breathe. There was so much pressure and I didn’t know what to do. I missed a stumping in Mohali and the crowd started to chant ‘Dhoni…Dhoni’,” Pant said in a recent television interview.

However, the personal relation between Dhoni and Pant has not been affected by this. Dhoni has always been Pant’s mentor.

“I always find it difficult to explain my relationship with Dhoni. There are some with whom you can talk freely. I discuss everything with MSD. I have learned so much from him. I discuss things with him that I wouldn’t discuss with anybody else. That is the kind of relationship I have with him,” said Pant.