Rishabh Pant has achieved a great deal of success at a very young age. Having become the only Indian wicketkeeper to have scored a Test hundred in both Australia and England, he is the blue-eyed boy of Indian cricket. His verbal antics behind the stumps in Australia also earned him some praise. In IPL, the Delhi Capitals player has played some splendid knocks.
But with fame comes the responsibility of not letting it get to your head. The reason why the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman managed to stay at the top and earn the respect of so many people is because they didn't let fame and money sweep them off their feet.
Has Pant been able to deal with his stardom well? Perhaps he is. But in an interview he gave to Times of India, there seems to be an element of pride creeping into his statements. When asked about the comparisons with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, his answer was rather interesting.
"I do think about the comparison with Dhoni sometimes, but it's too difficult. If I am learning from him, I can't possibly think that I can be in his league overnight. I am just trying to learn from him. I consider him my mentor.
"He has taught me so many things be it how to work on my batting or mind-set before I go to bat, and most importantly, keeping calm in pressure situations," Pant said.
There is nothing wrong in his statement. But most young cricketers, when being compared to legends of the game, often come up with self-deprecating answers where they deny being in the same league with the great player mentioned and even rule out the possibility of ever being as great as them.
But here, while Pant shows all the respect to Dhoni, he says, "I can't possibly think that I can be in his league overnight." This implies that he believes he will be in Dhoni's league in future. That is a risky thing to say.
Then in another answer, where he is responding to questions about criticism that he has faced, the keeper-batsman says: "It's good for a player to get an early break. Besides, I am not getting anything for free. I have worked hard and earned my place in the Indian cricket team.
"Nobody has gifted that to me. Koi nahi bolta ke, Bhai team mein aaja'. Aisa nahi hota hai. If you don't perform well, you won't be selected. It's as simple as that. Everyone has to justify their spot in the team."
Now, he should remember that, while he is right that he has earned his place in the team, it's also because of the faith a lot of people have shown in him. But if he continues to perform badly, he would be letting many people down. So, a bit of humility would be great in this situation.
While there is nothing definite to suggest that Pant is getting ahead of himself but he definitely needs to be careful on that front.