Even MS Dhoni missed catches, stumpings at the start of his career, says Rishabh Pant’s coach

Written by Vipin Darwade

Rishabh Pant replaced MS Dhoni behind the stumps in the fourth ODI against Australia. He is auditioning for a World Cup spot as India close in on their 15-man squad for the mega event. But things didn’t go well for the youngster, especially with the gloves. He missed a couple of crucial of stumping chances which eventually turned the game in Australia’s favour as the visitors aced a record chase.

Peter Handscomb was let off in the 39th over but Ashton Turner’s mis-stumping hurt India the most. The latter ended up playing a match-winning knock for his team and even the skipper Virat Kohli expressed his disappointment clearly over the missed chances in the post-match presentation ceremony.

However, his coach Tarak Sinha isn’t pleased with all the criticism Pant has been coping with at the moment. He pointed out that even MS Dhoni had missed catches and stumpings early in his career and urged the fans to let the youngster settle.

“Such comparisons are cropping up because, like Dhoni, he (Pant) is also a wicketkeeper-batsman. But it’s unfair on him because it puts undue pressure for him to perform in a particular way, and be like Dhoni. He performs the best when his mind is free.

“Which keeper in the world hasn’t missed a catch or a stumping? Even Dhoni missed catches and stumpings at the start of his career. The good thing is that the selectors persisted with him and did not drop him after one season. He improved with time to become one of the greats of the game,” Tarak was quoted as saying by Indian Express.

Sinha also added that Dhoni didn’t have the baggage of replacing a big player during his early day in international cricket. But Rishabh Pant now has to match the expectations and the benchmark set by the former Indian captain.

“There’s a difference between the Pant of today and Dhoni 14-years-ago when he was making his way into the Indian team. Back then, he did not come with the kind of baggage like Pant has.”

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Vipin Darwade