Long-serving wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's absence from India's tour of West Indies has handed young Rishabh Pant the perfect opportunity to gain experience and unleash his potential, captain Virat Kohli has said.
Dhoni is sitting out India's tour, which begins with the first Twenty20 against West Indies in Florida later on Saturday, to discharge his responsibilities as an honorary colonel in the army.
The 38-year-old is part of the Territorial Army, a reservist force that draws on civilians who can do short stints to assist the military, and started patrol duties in conflict-torn Jammu and Kashmir from Wednesday.
Pant, 21, has been long earmarked as the successor to Dhoni, who is a veteran of 350 one-dayers and quit playing tests at the end of 2014.
"It's a great opportunity for someone like Rishabh Pant to really play a lot of international cricket, show his credentials, really unleash his potential at this stage," Kohli told reporters in Fort Lauderdale.