Rishabh Pant has truly become the premier banter-creating machine in India cricket following the Test series in Australia and the Delhi lad has now turned his vocal attention to his mentor Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Pant's recent headline grabber was in a promotional video for the upcoming edition of the IPL where he will be wearing the kit of Delhi Capitals and MS Dhoni will be seen leading the Chennai Super Kings in the familiar yellow.
In the video, Pant can be seen sitting on the pitch in the middle of an empty ground and chants of Dhoni is reverberating in the background. The left-handed batsman opens a book containing Dhoni's picture and calls the 37-year-old his "guru" (mentor). In a thought-provoking baritone, Pant continued to say that if not for Dhoni, he may not have become a wicketkeeper-batsman. This is when the video takes a complete turn as Pant closes the book titled "DHONI MY HERO".
Pant then fires a straight warning to MS Dhoni saying that he will rain on CSK's parade so effectively in the upcoming season of the IPL that "captain cool" will not remain cool following his exploits. Pant subsequently asks Mahi Bhai to be ready as he will be coming to show his cricketing prowess.
Pant has gained quite the cult following as a result of his on-field exchanges with Tim Paine. Paine had started the banter between the pair by asking Pant to babysit for him during India's ODI series as he was not selected in the squad. Pant replied to him when he came to bat and called him a special guest because he is a "temporary captain". Pant sounded flummoxed in his jibes as he claimed to have never heard the word "temporary captain" ever in his life. The Bharat Army, a fan club of the India cricket team, even made a song on Pant.
Paine and Pant had seemingly taken their differences in good spirit as the wife of the Australian captain posted a picture with Pant calling him the best babysitter. In this picture, Pant and Mrs Paine posed with the latter's kids.
The IPL will begin on March 23 where Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore will play against each other in the first match. But Pant will be seen in action before that he takes the field alongside Dhoni for India against Australia in the T20 series. Pant is also a part of the squad for the five-match ODI series.