Singh said Pant doesn’t deserve the criticism that he has been getting and skipper Virat Kohli should guide him. “I really don’t know what is happening with him (Rishabh). He is facing a lot of criticism which is not needed. Somebody needs to get the best out of him,” Singh was quoted as saying by PTI, on the sidelines of ‘The Sports Movement’ summit of the India On Track organisation.
“The people monitoring him, the coach, the captain have to guide him,” he added.
Singh also felt that Pant has a lot of potential. “Suppressing Rishabh won’t get the best out of him. He has a lot of potential, the captain and the coach need to mentor him. Team needs to stop making statements about Rishabh in the media,” he told NDTV.
On Pant being compared to MS Dhoni, Singh said people should refrain from doing so. “MS Dhoni was not made in a day. It took a few years, so it will take a few years for a replacement also. There is one year to go for the T20 World Cup, so that is still a long time,” Singh was quoted as saying by IANS.
“I always felt that in the Indian team, when things didn’t go well, there was no one to talk on the mental side of the players till Gary Kirsten and Paddy Upton came,” he recalled, according to PTI.
“So we need somebody to talk to these guys, ask them what are their feelings about the game, what can be done to make them play better,” he added.
Shastri had said that Pant will be “rapped on the knuckles” if he keeps on playing rash shots. He was referring to India’s tour of the West Indies where Pant was dismissed on the first ball in an ODI game. Kohli, meanwhile, had said that he wanted Pant to play according to situations.
Singh had previously spoken in favour of Pant after former England star Kevin Pietersen slammed his dismissal during India’s 2019 World Cup semifinal match.
Regarding rumours on Dhoni’s retirement, Singh said the former skipper should be the one taking the call on his career. “I think it’s unfair to him. The guy (Dhoni) has done so much for Indian cricket. He has been the most successful Indian captain, so you got to give him time,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.
“He needs to decide when he wants to go out. He needs to take that call. If he wants to still play, that’s his call and we need to respect that,” he added, according to the Hindustan Times report.
(With PTI inputs)