MS Dhoni my favourite batting partner but I rarely get chances to bat with him: Rishabh Pant
India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant named MS Dhoni is his favourite batting partner, saying the World Cup-winning former captain makes batting easy for him when the two are out in the middle.
Rishabh Pant said when MS Dhoni is out there as his batting partner, everything seems sorted and that he has to do nothing else but follow the veteran wicketkeeper's plans.
Speaking to Delhi Capitals in an online interaction, Pant rued that he only gets limited opportunities to bat with Dhoni.
"My favourite batting partner is Dhoni but it's very rare that I get the chance to bat with him. If he's out there, everything is sorted. He lays out the plan and you just have to follow it. The way his mind works, especially during run-chases, is amazing," Pant said.
Pant, who has played 13 Tests, 16 ODIs and 28 T20Is, said he loves to understand the mindset of senior players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma when batting with them in tense situations.
"I enjoy batting with Virat bhai and Rohit bhai. Whenever you are batting with any of these seniors, it's a different experience altogether. You have fun with them. You realise how their mind works. It's a different chemistry... even with (Shreyas) Iyer and Shiki bhai (Shikhar Dhawan) in the IPL," Pant said.
Pant is being seen as a potential successor to MS Dhoni but the young wicketketkeeper's performances have been far from impressive. Pant lost his place in the T20I side to KL Rahul during India's tour of New Zealand earlier this year and struggled to impress in the Tests as well.
Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals assistant coach and former India batsman Mohammad Kaif said India have not been able to identify the right role for Pant and that the youngster will shine only if he plays with a free mind.
Kaif said Delhi Capitals have been able to sort out his role in the team, saying the team management is keen on giving the last 10 overs for Pant, who plays a finisher's role at the IPL franchise.
"Rishabh Pant is a free-flowing player. If you set a number (in the batting order) for him, if you tell him you have these many overs and you have to do this, you help him play with a clear mind," Kaif told Aakash Chopra in his YouTube show Aakashvani.
"In whatever discussions I had with Ganguly and Ponting, we decided that Pant has to face the last 10 overs, he needs to get 60 balls regardless of his batting position. The wickets don't decide his position but it's based on the number of overs left.
"India is not being able to do this properly. He is sometimes sent in at 15th over in a 50-0ver match."