The Men in Blue opener Shikhar Dhawan feels it’s not right on comparing young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant with veteran MS Dhoni. Dhawan, who brought up his highest ODI score in the penultimate of India vs Australia 2019 series in Mohali. He believes exciting prospect has a lot to play with, in the upcoming years.
The southpaw slammed 143 off 115 balls with the help of 18 fours and three sixes. His previous best came against the Proteas in February 2015.
Meanwhile, Dhoni has been rested for the remainder of the ODIs following his 26-run known at his home ground Ranchi in the third ODI.
Pant is fresh to the top-flight cricket: Dhawan
Dhawan in the press conference on Sunday maintained Dhoni has a wealth of experience on his back. He added Pant is still fresh to the arena.
“See, Rishabh is a young bloke and like any other player, you have to give time to the youngsters. One cannot compare Rishabh Pant to MS Dhoni considering Dhoni’s vast experience while Rishabh Pant is still finding his feet,” Dhawan said in a press conference.
Recently, in the fourth ODI, the Delhi-based Pant has struggled behind the stumps at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
The 21-year-old Pant has missed a couple stumping chances. In between, Pant tried to be cheeky by imitating Dhoni which eventually saw him conceding an extra run.
So much so, Pant has missed a stumping chance of Mohali hero Ashton Turner, who won the game following his 43-ball 84 while decimating Team India bowlers.
Soon after he tried to dislodge the zing bails while throwing between his legs, the jam-packed crowd chanted ‘Dhoni… Dhoni…’.
Missing on stumping chance hurt India in Mohali:
With the bat, Pant has played a cameo of 24-ball 36 with the help of four fours and a six.
The 33-year-old Dhawan said the stumping would have certainly made a difference. He cited that dew has also played a part with Australia excelling in a record run-chase.
“Of course, had the stumping chance taken, it could have turned the game. Having said that, the game slipped away from our hands quite quickly after that the dew also played its part in the game. But that’s what it is,” Dhawan said.
The visitors levelled the series 2-2 by overhauling the target of 359 in 48.3 overs with four wickets in hand. Following a brilliant show from Peter Handscomb, who smashed his maiden ODI hundred, Usman Khawaja backed himself with another 91 off 99 balls with the help of seven fours.
The grand finale of the five-ODI series will commence on March 13 at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi.