India star wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant has revealed about his deep connection with former captain M S Dhoni, emphasizing the open communication and the valuable learning experiences he has had with him.
Amidst the storm of comparisons, a silver lining emerged in the form of an unshakeable bond between Pant and Dhoni. Despite the external pressures, the two kept their camaraderie intact. Pant spoke fondly of his relationship with the former captain, emphasizing the depth of their connection.
"I always find it difficult to explain my relationship with MS. 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's the kind of relationship with him,” said Pant in an interview with Star Sports 'Believe' series.
Struggling with the weight of expectations and constant scrutiny, Pant spoke about the criticisms he has faced in the early days of his career, replacing the great MS Dhoni as a wicketkeeper
“First of all, I didn't understand why questions were raised. I had just made it to the team, and people were talking about being a replacement. Why were people raising such questions at a youngster? Why are you comparing? There shouldn't be any comparison at all.
"Some have played five matches and the others have played 500. It's been such a long journey, so many ups and downs, so the comparison is not fair. 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. So much pressure, and I didn't know what to do. I missed a stumping in Mohali, and the crowd started to chant ‘DhoniDhoni’," he said.
The 26-ywar-old also reflected on his early days in the Indian cricket team, highlighting the supportive and welcoming nature of senior players like Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni. "In the start, I was very young, and there were a lot of senior players, a lot of them actually. Yuvraj Singh, MS. Dhoni were there, all seniors. It does take some time, but I didn't get the feeling of them being super seniors.
"They were very welcoming and made me very comfortable. They make every new player very comfortable. This is the culture of the Indian team," he concluded.