Prasad, while pointing out that Pant is the only Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to have hit Test hundreds in England and Australia, claimed that the youngster got “caught in the euphoria” of Dhoni and even started comparing himself with the former India captain.
He also revealed the discussion the team management had with Pant about creating a unique identity and staying away from the shadow of Dhoni.
Rishabh Pant sending one back to Delhi in the nets ahead of the IPL 💥
Sound on for this one 👌 pic.twitter.com/JMrjrhJgyT
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 5, 2020
“In regard to Rishabh, we have been backing him for quite some time,” Prasad said while in conversation with Sportskeeda. “Only wicketkeeper-batsman in the history of Indian cricket who has got a hundred against Australia in Australia, and a hundred against England in England, in a Test series. So if somebody can do that, that means he has the potential.
“Every time Rishabh steps in, he is compared with MS Dhoni, and probably, he also got caught in that euphoria. Many times we spoke to him that he has to get over it – Mahi is an absolutely different personality, and you are different, you are also phenomenal, you also have talent, that’s why we are backing you.
“He always was in this shadow of MSD. He started comparing himself with him. He started sort of copying him, even in mannerisms and all, if you see the way he does all that sort of stuff.”
Who, in your opinion, should be India's first-choice wicketkeeper in Tests and limited-overs? pic.twitter.com/qYt2cI6D69
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) July 2, 2020
Prasad believes Dhoni’s retirement from international cricket will now give Pant the freedom to evolve into a better player.
“This is what we worked on with him and we asked Kiran More,” he said, “because Kiran More works with him in NCA also, so he should come out of his shadow and he has to be his own self. Fortunately for him now that MS has retired. I think he will definitely come out of that shadow and evolve into a much, much better player.”