Team India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant reminisced about an incident in Mohali where fans in the stadium started chanting the name of former India captain MS Dhoni after Pant made a wicketkeeping error in a T20I match.
For the unversed, during the early days of his wicketkeeping stint with Team India, Rishabh Pant faced challenges as he tried to fill the significant gap left by MS Dhoni. His errors behind the wicket led to criticism and taunts from fans, who would chant MS Dhoni’s name at the stadium whenever Pant made wicketkeeping mistakes.
Rishabh Pant Recalled “Dhoni..Dhoni” Chants By Fans
In an interview with Star Sports, Rishabh Pant opened up about the emotional toll he felt when fans consistently chanted MS Dhoni’s name in Mohali. The 25-year-old admitted to feeling hurt and revealed the immense pressure he faced in trying to step into the shoes of the former India captain. Pant expressed that the expectations and the weight of Dhoni’s legacy made it challenging for him, even affecting his ability to breathe properly during those moments of heightened pressure. He said:
“First of all I don’t understand, a youngster has come into the team and why are you talking like this. Some has played 5 matches and other has played 500 matches. They have had such a long journey with so many ups and downs. I used to feel bad. I used to go back to my room and cry.”
He added: “I used to think 20-21 at that time and felt I couldn’t breath. There is no pressure. I missed stumping and everybody started chanting ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’ in Mohali.”
Rishabh Pant narrates incident of fan chanting Dhoni Dhoni..
Rishabh Pant 🗣️” Why should their be comparison.I use to feel very bad, I used to go back in room and cry.” “At the age of 20-21 due to so much pressure , I felt I couldn’t breathe”#RishabhPant pic.twitter.com/HoBxkv6DYC
— Naman (@NAMAN_17__) February 1, 2024
Following MS Dhoni’s retirement from international cricket, India faced the daunting task of finding a worthy successor to the legendary wicketkeeper known for his exceptional skills behind the stumps. Rishabh Pant emerged as a top candidate for the role, not only due to his prowess as a wicketkeeper but also for his aggressive batting capabilities in the middle order. The team saw him as an ideal replacement capable of carrying on the legacy left by Dhoni.