Rishabh Pant finally responds to the criticism he is Facing
The wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant was under fire for some days and he finally responds to the criticism he received due to his inability to perform at the recently concluded ICC World Cup and India’s tour of the West Indies. He said he’d earned his place on the national team instead of someone else giving it to him on a tray.
In an interview with Bombay Times, Pant talked about filling MS Dhoni’s shoes, the World Cup experience and the nanny’s jokes with Tim Paine.
Regarding the reviews, he said, “It’s good for a player to have an early break. Besides, I don’t get anything for free. I’ve worked hard and earned my place on the Indian cricket team. Nobody gave it to me. Koi Nahi bolta ke ‘Bhai team mein aaja.’ Aisa Nahi Hota hai. If it does not perform well, it will not be selected. It’s as simple as that. Everyone has to justify their place on the team.”
Pant has also considered as the replacement of MS Dhoni in all three formats for quite some time. Responding to this comparison, he said: “Sometimes I think about the comparison with Dhoni, but it’s too difficult. If I’m learning from him, I can’t think he can be in his league overnight. I’m just trying to learn from him. I consider him my mentor. He’s taught me many things, whether it’s how to work on my batting or mindset before going to bat, and most importantly, stay calm in pressure situations.”
He added: “At 21 if I start thinking I have to fill Dhoni’s shoes, it will be tough for me. I’m just trying to keep it simple. I want to play the game as best I can and learn from everyone around me, especially my elders.”
Rishabh Pant also revealed that he had not expected to be selected on the World Cup squad as a “wildcard” inning after initially missing the 15-member team. He said, “I didn’t expect to get to the toilet as a wildcard entry. I was hoping to make the final 15 squads, and for that, I had worked. It was a dream that becomes a reality of playing WC, but no, I never thought the opportunity would come like this. I was happy. I remember being in my hometown, Roorkee, when I got a call from the BCCI saying: get ready. You may have to come to the United Kingdom, so stay in Delhi.” I told them I’m already in Delhi (smile!). I had an intuition that I’d get that call.
Earlier this year, Pant also appeared in the making headlines due to his banter with Australian captain Tim Paine. Later, Pant also was with Paine’s family. On this, he said: “I was laughing at that. I have no idea how he thought of calling me that It was fun. When I met his family, his mother wanted a picture with me. His wife was standing with her two children. She asked me if she could take a picture with me, too.
“I held one of the children for photography, telling him I could be his nanny. She posted it on Instagram and went viral. It was a friendly joke. Besides, what happens in the field remains in the field. I don’t take him home or hold a grudge.
“I love jokes, I’ll never start anything (sled) first, but if someone exceeds my limit, I have to return it. I can’t listen to anyone and shut up.”
Rishabh Pant surely has a crucial role to play in the future for the India team, and any criticism in front of it must become a positive thought.