As MS Dhoni called time on his career, the question of who should take over as India’s No.1 wicket-keeper gained prominence. The question first arouse when MS Dhoni took a sabbatical after a 2019 World Cup. Rishabh Pant was touted to fill in the big boots of MS Dhoni across formats. But as he failed to capitalise on the chances due to his poor shot selection and questionable glovework.
It opened the doors for KL Rahul. The Karnataka batsman, on the contrary, latched on to the opportunity and made the most of it. Former India wicket-keepers Nayan Mongia, Deep Dasgupta and MSK Prasad agree that KL Rahul, on the basis of his past performances, should be preferred as the No.1 keeper for India in the limited-overs.
“KL, I think will be first choice in 50 overs. Whatever I have seen of KL, he hasn’t been bad behind the stumps and also once he started keeping, his batting form improved in white ball cricket.
“On form, KL will be my frst choice and after that you can look at Rishabh and give him chances,” Mongia, one of India’s finest wicket-keepers told PTI.
“Look, in T20s, I believe both can play in the XI. But given a choice, KL will be my man for the time at least in T20s.
“However in 50 over format, may be team management and selectors can speak to him and see he wants to do it long term till 2023 World Cup and bat at No. 5 which is a critical slot in the middle-order,” Dasgupta, who has extensively covered Indian cricket in past few years as a broadcaster, said.
KL Rahul was tried to bat at different positions for Team India and he delivered. His glovework was also neat which came as an added bonus for the wicket-keeper batsman. With the T20 World Cup at stake, it looks like Rahul has nearly sealed his spot as the first-choice wicket-keeper batsman ahead of Rishabh Pant.
Rahul will be next seen in action during the IPL 2020 in UAE. It will also be the first season as captain for KL Rahul. The India top-order batsman was promoted to the position after his phenomenal run for KXIP in the previous edition of IPL.