14:52 GMT27 September 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The wicketkeeper of India's national cricket team Rishabh Pant is going through a terrible run of form. The pressure of expectation to fill his predecessor Dhoni's gloves has weighed heavily on his shoulders, taking away the qualities that brought him into the national team in the first place.

    Ahead of the three-match T20 series against West Indies, Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday urged fans to support wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant.

    Pant has been out of form with the bat since replacing former Indian captain and wicket keeper M.S. Dhoni in the national team after the World Cup 2019. However, skipper Kohli made it clear that the Indian team believes in Pant's abilities and urged cricket lovers to do the same.

    During the pre-match press conference, Kohli said they (the team) certainly believe in Rishabh's ability but he thinks it's a collective responsibility of everyone around (supporters) as well to give the player the space to do well.

    “You are playing in your own country and you should get support rather than always thinking what mistake this guy is going to make,” the Indian skipper said.

    “He is playing for the country but if he misses a chance, people can't shout MS' (Dhoni) name in the stadium. It's not respectful because no player would like that to happen. No one wants to be in that position,” Kohli added.

    Pant has an aggregate of 46 runs in the last five T20 matches at a strike rate of less than 100. He went into the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy to get his rhythm back. But both of his innings only served to increase the doubts about his abilities.


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