Rishabh Pant was compared to MS Dhoni and now to Wriddhiman Saha, “he has definitely got the ability, give him a break,” says R Ashwin

Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant should be given a break from constant comparisons with others, India off-spinner R Ashwin said on Sunday. Ashwin said Pant was compared with the legendary MS Dhoni when he started his career and after Dhoni has retired, the comparisons are now drawn with Wriddhiman Saha, which at times gets too much.

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Putting his weight firmly behind Pant, Ashwin said the attacking left-hander should be allowed to build his confidence and turn into a better player, which would not be possible if there are constant comparisons with other keepers.

"He was constantly compared with the great MS Dhoni for a long time. Now he gets compared for his wicket-keeping with (Wriddhiman) Saha, this that and all that, sometimes it's just better to give a break and let people build on confidence," Ashwin said speaking at the end of the second day's play in the second Test between India and England, during which he collected his 29th five-for in Test cricket.

Pant had a terrific day with both bat and the gloves. After scoring an attacking fifty with the bat that helped India collect crucial runs towards the end of their innings, Pant grabbed two fantastic diving catches – the first one to dismiss Ollie Pope and the next one to send back Jack Leach.

Ashwin said Pant got confidence after playing consistent knocks with the bat which translated into his keeping. "With respect to Rishabh's keeping, the name of the game is confidence right, he has been batting well, he has been working incredibly hard on his keeping as well...

"And sometimes, when you are constantly being compared to someone who has done well for years, it can be really hard, I really do feel for Rishabh, on a lot occasions, when I am watching games from home where he is playing the white-ball format." He further said that Pant is standing with the team because he has that capability and he deserves it, of course, no one can deny that.

by Riya Sharma | Mon, Feb 15 - 11:31 AM

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