Sourav Ganguly Counters Virat Kohli, Says Let Rishabh Pant Go Through MS Dhoni Chants
Virat Kohli was unhappy that spectators were chanting MS Dhoni's name whenever Rishabh Pant made a mistake, but Sourav Ganguly believes Pant should go through that and find ways to succeed.
Sourav Ganguly, former India captain and current BCCI president, wasn't on the same page with current skipper Virat Kohli in the backing of Rishabh Pant against chants of MS Dhoni during a match. In the recent T20I series against Bangladesh, young wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was mocked by the spectators with chants of "Dhoni, Dhoni". Virat Kohli came out in support of Rishabh Pant, saying such an act is "not respectful" and it's a "collective responsibility for everyone around" to help the wicketkeeper-batsman improve.
However, Ganguly didn't agree with Kohli's take on the treatment of Pant by the audience after a batting failure. The 47-year-old former left-handed batsman believed Pant should "go through it", hear those chants and find ways to succeed.
"If I were Virat Kohli, I would just let him go through it, let him hear it and find ways to succeed. Everybody must remember that you don't get MS Dhoni's every day. He is a once-in-a-generation cricketer," Ganguly said at India Today Conclave East 2019.
"MS Dhoni also, when he started, was not MS Dhoni. It took him 15 years to be MS Dhoni. It will take Rishabh Pant also close to 15 years to be even close to what MS Dhoni is today," he added.
Pant scored mere 36 runs in three-match T20I series against Bangladesh, following 23 runs in two-match T20I series against South Africa.
Pant will next play the West Indies in a three-match T20I series, starting on Friday in Hyderabad.
At the pre-match press conference on Thursday, Kohli defended Pant saying: "I think it's a collective responsibility for everyone around us as well to give that player (Rishabh Pant) some space.
"If he misses a chance or something, you know, people can't shout MS' (MS Dhoni) name in the stadium, it's not respectful if I have to put it that way, because no player would like that to happen. You're playing in your own country and you should get support, rather than thinking what mistake is he going to make, no one wants to be in that position," the Indian captain added.