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Pant hopes to learn from MS Dhoni

Young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who got his maiden India call as a member of the squad for T20 International matches against England, expressed hope that he will learn some tricks about keeping from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Pant hopes to learn from MS Dhoni
Rishabh Pant


“(I am) pretty happy with my selection right now. I don’t think too much, I am enjoying my selection,” 19-year-old Pant told reporters on the sidelines of the 13th D Y Patil T20 Cup. “I work on my fitness, wicketkeeping and batting, that is what is helping me out. Before the season I had a good off season with my trainer and that’s what (is) helping me,” the left-handed batsman, who plays for Delhi Ranji team, added. 

The national selection committee under M S K Prasad named Pant in India’s T20 squad against England giving an indication whom they consider as Dhoni’s successor with the glove. Now Pant will be in the same team as former India skipper and ace wicket-keeper batsman M S Dhoni and he expects to learn from the legend himself especially about keeping. 

“I am trying to learn from Dhoni bhai (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) since a long time, but time never came, because he was different (in different teams). Now since the opportunity has come, I will get to learn a lot of wicket-keeping (from him) and he will make the mindset good,” he added. He said that he learned about discipline from Rahul Dravid, who was his India Under-19 coach and IPL mentor. 

“With Rahul (Dravid) sir, you learn discipline, how to carry oneself, all these things are to learn. In the middle of the season, he won’t trouble a player especially in the off-season when I will get time. I will definitely speak to Rahul Sir,” he said. 

“I just try to play down the ground during practice,” the Uttarakhand-born 19-year-old player said when specifically asked how he works on his big shots. “I like all the formats. If anyone gets picked for India, he will be obviously happy. All the coaches wish that I definitely play Test cricket and I also wish that I will play Test cricket,” he quipped. 

Asked how he adapted to all the three formats, Pant said, “There is no special mindset, it is only that we have to see off the new ball in Test cricket. In ODIs and T20s, you can take on.” In 10 first class matches so far, Pant has scored 1080 runs with his highest score being 308. Meanwhile, legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who was also named in the T20 squad, said that he hoped to share a good rapport with the new skipper Virat Kohli, whom he has played with in the IPL. 

“I am feeling pretty nice as I have got the call in the T20 squad after Zimbabwe tour. I am excited as for the first time I will play with the entire team,” said Chahal. “With Virat I was in the Royal Challengers Bangalore for three years. I know how he does the changes,” added Chahal.

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