One of the fallouts of any loss is the scrutiny on the more vulnerable players. In such a situation, there is always the danger of the player either succumbing to the pressure or rising above the shadows of his predecessor. In Rishabh Pant’s case, it is far too early to tell.

As India tasted an unexpected, rare home series defeat to Australia in the recently concluded one day international series, while Virat Kohli’s captaincy came under the scanner with the conspicuous absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the Ranchi one day international, another player under the spotlight has been Rishabh Pant.

If Rishabh Pant’s wicketkeeping made headlines in Australia, including a sledging incident involving the Australian Test captain, Tim Paine, which eventually turned into an amusing moment, in this particular series, the contrast between Dhoni and Pant could not have been highlighted more fiercely. With Dhoni having not played the rest of the series after his home town showing which led to speculation about Dhoni having already played his final one day international on home soil, Pant came glaringly under the scanner for obvious omissions on the field in his role as a wicketkeeper.

If Mahendra Singh Dhoni broke out on the international scene as something of an unconventional batsman, a freak of a cricketer in the sense that not only India but also, the rest of the cricketing world had rarely seen a more rambunctious wicketkeeper-batsman barring Australia’s Adam Gilchrist, Rishabh Pant’s young talent has already had speculation being etched about his potential career graph. Therefore, for the youngster to have hiccupped in the course of the series in which India surprisingly could not hold up an otherwise sedate Australia who struggled in home conditions, pointed out the harsh reality of the obvious chasm between Dhoni’s wealth of talent, acumen and experience and Pant being still wet behind the ears.

Defeat tends to draw in greater scrutiny. Indeed questions can and should be asked about India’s ability to hold their own on home turf and whether they have perhaps been a tad complacent amongst other issues to have let Australia get some valuable, much needed confidence under the belt. For Australia to make a comeback to hand India rare home series defeat, a scapegoat had to be found particularly since the ICC Cricket World Cup is only drawing closer. This is not say Pant is being unduly criticized. But while there is acknowledgement that there is a learning curve ahead for Pant, what must, also, be recognized is that comparison, particularly at this point in time, is made redundant by the fact that while Dhoni is in his sunset years as a player, Pant is still finding his feet in international cricket.

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