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'Pant can be better than Dhoni'

April 01, 2021 17:10 IST
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'He was burdened with the comparison of MS Dhoni and he also tried to do that, but he himself is a brilliant player. He doesn't have to worry about being like MS Dhoni.'

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant with Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the IPL last year. Photograph: BCCI

Former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel picked Rishabh Pant as the key player for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021, while adding that the young left-hander is capable of winning matches on his own and can be better than former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

 

Pant was named the captain of Delhi Capitals for IPL 2021, starting on April 9, after regular skipper Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of the tournament because of injury.

The young left-hander has been in sensational form with the bat across formats recently. He played match-winning knocks of 97 and unbeaten 89 in the third and the fourth Test against Australia to help India win their second consecutive Test series Down Under.

He followed that up with a brilliant century against England in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad, forcing the selectors to include him in the white-ball squads.

Making a comeback into the Indian white-ball side, Pant was promoted to No. 4 in the series against England, and the 23-year-old did not disappoint with a couple of quickfire half-centuries.

"I think Rishabh Pant carries a lot of confidence with him and that's what you want when you are playing a T20 game. You don't want any doubts in your mind and especially a player like Rishabh Pant."

"He was burdened with the comparison of MS Dhoni and he also tried to do that, but he himself is a brilliant player. He doesn't have to worry about being like MS Dhoni. He can be better than MS Dhoni or he can win matches on his own every given time. So, I think Rishabh Pant will probably hold the key for Delhi Capitals," Parthiv said on Star Sports' show Game Plan.

Rishabh Pant

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant boasts of a good record in the IPL, having scored 2079 runs in 68 games at an impressive strike rate of 151, with 12 fifties and a century. Photograph: BCCI

Parthiv believes Mumbai Indians will be looking to continue with the same formula from last year, which saw them clinch their fifth IPL title.

"I don't think Mumbai Indians will be thinking of where they are playing next. All the teams would be thinking about where they are playing first and you know, try and get their best team forward, try and get their best XI on path.

"If they are playing in Chennai, you might expect some spinner but from the Mumbai Indians point of view, I don't think they have to tinker a lot with their playing XI because Hardik Pandya is bowling quite a bit now, almost bowling 4 overs, Pollard bowls his slower ones really well, which might be useful on a Chennai wicket. And obviously, Rahul Chahar had an outstanding IPL, a couple of outstanding IPLs and hence, he was picked for India. Krunal Pandya's four overs, his form in domestic cricket, so I can go on and on about it," he added.

Talking about Royal Challengers Bangalore, Parthiv said he was not convinced, especially having let go of all-rounder Moeen Ali.

"I think there were a lot of questions to be answered in the auction, but I don't think they have answered those questions. Just because they were not expecting it to go out of Bangalore. Hence, Moeen Ali went. If Moeen Ali was there, it would have been a different XI altogether. And one player actually can change the composition of the XI. As he rightly said, attention was to try to get away from ABD (AB de Villiers) and Virat (Kohli), but how much attention they are trying to win it away inside the team will matter the most and not outside of the team," he added.

IPL 2021 will begin on April 9 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match.

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