India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday backed Rishabh Pant, who has been under the scanner for a while, and said that the team believes in Pant’s ability. He also said that it’s their responsibility to support him.
Pant has recently been criticised about his poor DRS call and a stumping error during the T20I against Bangladesh.
“We certainly believe in Rishabh’s ability. As you say, it’s (also) the player’s responsibility to do well but our responsibility is to give him space, to support him. He should get support and it is disrespectful if you don’t get it,” Kohli was quoted as saying by PTI ahead of the T20 International series against the West Indies starting on Friday.
“If he misses a chance or something, you know, people can’t shout 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,” the skipper further said, according to NDTV.
In the third T20I against Bangladesh in Nagpur, the crowd reportedly chanted ‘Dhoni Dhoni’ after a wrong DRS call by Pant.
Calls for Dhoni flooded Twitter after a stumping error by Pant in the second T20I against Bangladesh.
“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,” Kohli was quoted as saying by NDTV.
“As Rohit (Sharma) said recently, he needs to be left alone, he is a match-winner. Once he comes good, you will see a very different version of him. He can’t be isolated to such an extent that he doesn’t do well. We are here to do things for him,” he added.
Yuvraj Singh had also called for an end to the constant criticism of Pant and said he needs the support of Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.
India and the West Indies will compete in a T20 and ODI series, each of which comprises three matches.
(With PTI inputs)