‘I couldn’t breathe…’: Rishabh Pant opens up about pressure due to comparisons with MS Dhoni – Times of India



NEW DELHI: Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant shared his struggles with stress and pressure, especially during the early days of his career when comparisons with former captain MS Dhoni were a constant source of distress.
Pant admitted that the expectations and chants from the crowd took a toll on him, even leading to emotional moments in his room.
“I used to really feel very bad. I used to go back to my room and cry at 20-21 years of age. Under stress, I couldn’t breathe. So much pressure, and I didn’t know what to do. I missed a stumping in Mohali, and the crowd started to chant ‘Dhoni Dhoni‘,” Pant revealed in a ‘Star Sports’ series documenting his recovery from a life-threatening car crash in 2022.The young keeper-batsman acknowledged that comparisons with Dhoni were difficult to handle, especially at the beginning of his career when he was still finding his footing in international cricket.
Pant, currently recovering from the car crash, spoke emotionally about his relationship with Dhoni, describing him as the only person with whom he is comfortable sharing everything in his life.
“I always find it difficult to explain my relationship with MS Dhoni. There are some with whom you can talk freely. I discuss everything with MSD. I have learned so much from him. I discuss things with him that I wouldn’t discuss with anybody else. That’s the kind of relationship (I have) with him,” Pant said.
Reflecting on the unfair comparisons, Pant expressed confusion about why questions were raised when he had just entered the team.
“Why were people raising such questions at a youngster? Why are you comparing? There shouldn’t be any comparison at all. Some have played five matches and the others have played 500. It’s been such a long journey, so many ups and downs, so the comparison is not fair,” he said.
Pant also acknowledged the support and comfort he received from senior players like Yuvraj Singh when he first joined the team, emphasizing the welcoming and supportive culture of the Indian cricket team.

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(With inputs from PTI)



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