'Pant is a talented cricketer and we shouldn't put him under pressure by comparing him with Dhoni.'
Rishabh Pant is a talented cricketer but he shouldn't be compared with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, believes India's first World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev.
Pant, who is now India's first-choice wicketkeeper in Tests, is still fighting for a spot in India's World Cup squad that will be announced later this month.
"You can never compare anyone with Mahendra Singh Dhoni. No one can ever replace a player of Dhoni's stature. Pant is a talented cricketer and we shouldn't put him under pressure by comparing him with Dhoni. His time will surely come," the 1983 World Cup-winning captain said on Tuesday.
In his inimitable style, Kapil played down the workload management issue of India's pacer bowlers during the ongoing Indian Premier League.
"We all have workload," he laughed, adding, "We are making a big issue out of it. What is workload? "Mehnat Karna hi naa? Kya aap mehnat bhi nahi karoge? (Will you work hard or not? You don't even want to work hard?)
Kapil's World Cup winning team in 1983 boasted a number of all-rounders, including Mohinder Amarnath, Madan Lal, Roger Binny and himself.
The current Indian team has a couple of all-rounders in Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar, but their bowling has been an issue in limited overs cricket. However, Kapil refused to be critical.
"Winning a World Cup is not buying sweets from a shop. It's a mission and at this juncture, I don't want to be the critic who wants to pull the team. I will not like to harp on weak points and rather focus on our strengths," said the legendary all-rounder.
"World Cup (victory) is a culmination of four years of planning. I am certain our selection committee has identified the right bunch of players. Now it's up to the players to execute and also they would need a bit of luck in such a big event," he said.