Skipper batsman and team India captain Virat Kohli came out to support Rishabh Pant during the pre-match press conference ahead of the first T20 International against the West Indies on Friday.
Virat Kohli feels it is not respectful to shout former player MS Dhoni’s name in the stadium to mock the young wicket-keeper batsman. Rishabh Pant had played across all the formats to fill in the big boots of MS Dhoni, but his poor performances have prompted fans to mock him time and again. Kohli, 31, feels every player deserves to be supported while playing for their own nation.
Virat Kohli About Rishabh Pant
“I think it’s a collective responsibility for everyone around us as well as to give Rishabh Pant some space,” said Virat Kohli.
“If Rishabh Pant misses a chance or something, you know, people can’t shout MS Dhoni name in the stadium, it will not be 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,” Kohli added.
Pant, 22, will have a chance in the limited-overs series against the West Indies to prove his mettle and silence his critics. He has played 23 T20Is for India and scored at a strike rate of 118.15. However, the Delhi batsman averages only 19.88 in the shortest format of the game.
India is going to host the West Indies for three T20Is and as many ODIs, starting from Friday. The series is going to wrap up on December 22 in Cuttack.