Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Rishabh Pant, the young Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, will be looking to make the best use of the Indian Premier League (IPL) should it happen this year, to inspire confidence in the Indian team management about his abilities.

Pant, only 22 and a product of India’s successful Under-19 World Cup campaign a few years back, made a promising start to his career and turned up behind the stumps in the Tests in their last tour of New Zealand earlier this year. However, the youngster’s deficiencies in keeping and often poor shot selection with the bat has come in for criticism in recent times - with calls for Wriddhiman Saha ahead of Pant in the Test series against Australia later this year also gaining ground. He has also been replaced by a multi-tasking KL Rahul in white ball cricket in recent times.

Pant was recently seen practicing in the nets with veteran batsman Suresh Raina, who had posted a video on Instagram. Egging the youngster on, the Chennai Super Kings veteran posted: “Let’s start the day Rishabh Pant. Work hard, Never give up & get rewarded.”

An ardent admirer of the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Pant has always treated him like a mentor and revealed how pressure of chasing a target gets reduced several notches with ‘MSD’ at the other end. “My favourite batting partner is Mahi bhai (Dhoni) but I don’t get a chance to bat with him too often. If he’s out there, everything seems sorted. He will tell you the plan and you just have to follow his lead. The way his mind works is incredible, especially during chases,” Pant said during a interaction with Delhi Capitals on their official Twitter handle.

Pant candidly admitted that he enjoys batting with senior batsmen in the team. Lavishing praise on skipper Virat Kohli and white-ball vice-captain Rohit Sharma, Pant said he has a different chemistry with them on the field.

“I enjoy batting even with Virat bhai and Rohit bhai... whenever you’re batting with any of these seniors, it’s a different experience. You have fun with them...you realise how their mind works. It’s a different chemistry... even with (Shreyas) Iyer and Shiki bhai (Shikhar Dhawan) in the IPL,” Pant added.