Shikhar Dhawan had his audience in splits on a talk show when he narrated an incident about a photo with wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant that went viral recently. Shikhar Dhawan appeared on India TV’s Aap Ki Adaalat and was asked about a photo of Pant sitting on his lap. The photo, taken during India’s T20I series against South India, soon led to several memes, especially with Rishabh Pant under the scanner for some underwhelming performances and poor shot selection.
“He just came and sat on my lap,” Dhawan said.
“I told him ‘Rishabh, get up, someone will click a photo. I don’t love guys that much that I’ll make them sit on my lap,'” he added as the audience burst out in laughter.
“But he is 21-22 years, and he doesn’t listen. So he sat on my lap and said ‘I will sit here only’. So I said ‘Sit, what can I do?'” Dhawan said.
“He is young and cheerful like most guys his age,” Dhawan added.
Rishabh Pant has come under pressure following disappointing performances against South Africa in the T20I series. He quickly became a major talking point after India’s head coach Ravi Shastri and batting coach Vikram Rathour warned him over playing careless cricket.
But Shikhar Dhawan feels that his fellow southpaw has the talent to don the national team jersey for a long time to come. “Rishabh Pant is very talented. With his talent, he will serve India for a long time,” Dhawan said.
When asked if Pant needed to focus more on his batting, Dhawan said that the young gloveman was working hard and that this is just a phase of bad form.
“He is completely focused and and working very hard. Sometimes there is just a situation where you can’t perform. But he is learning a lot from his journey,” Dhawan said.
“I am sure he will learn a lot. A player like him should be backed,” the left-handed opener said.
Shikhar Dhawan recently rediscovered his form after a disappointing tour of West Indies. In the second T20I against South Africa, Dhawan helped India’s chase with a fluent 31-ball 40. In the third match, he top-scored for the Men in Blue with a 25-ball 36 on a pitch where all his compatriots struggled to make an impact with the willow.