New Delhi :
India and Australia are all set to lock horns for one final time at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi in the five-match ODI series on March 13. The series stands 2-2 with first two going in India's favour, and Australia coming back strongly in the third and fourth one-day International. However, many believe that the scoreline could easily be 3-1 and India could have taken an unassailable lead at PCA IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali if Rishabh Pant would have shown better display behind the stumps.
Pant had replaced MS Dhoni in the squad who has taken a two-match rest post-Ranchi ODI. Earlier to the game in Mohali, many believed that Pant can replicate Dhoni and replace him once Dhoni plans to retire.
However, after the young sensation missed a stumping and catching chance, there were absolutely different thoughts. On this, Pant's childhood coach went onto back Pant and said it's better not to compare Pant with MS Dhoni as he performs best when he is free from any kind of expectation.
“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,” the coach was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
Sinha also reminded the fans that Dhoni has become what he is today after years of international cricket, it isn't like he was this good from the day he donned the Indian jersey.
“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 as Pant has. There wasn’t any legendary wicketkeeper whom he was replacing. The guys back then were either Dinesh Karthik or Parthiv Patel, players younger to him. So, he (Dhoni) was free from the pressure and expectations that Pant is facing today,” he continued.
Further downplaying the criticism Pant has received after dropping those catches and missing stumping opportunities on Sunday, suggesting there's no wicket-keeper in the world (even Dhoni) who hasn't spilt chances behind the stumps.
“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,” Sinha explained.