Former English batsman Kevin Pietersen has weighed in on who deserves India’s wicketkeeping spot between Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson. Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson have been widely touted as India’s future as they have shown glimpses in IPL and domestic circuit of their future potential. Despite having more experience at the international level, Kevin Pietersen believes Sanju Samson holds an edge over Rishabh Pant.
Having debuted in international cricket in February 2017, Rishabh Pant has shone in the Test arena. However, being tailormade for white-ball cricket, the southpaw has faced criticism for throwing away starts recklessly. Additionally, the youngster’s display behind the stumps has also not been satisfactory in the limited-overs format. When speaking of Sanju Samson, he has not had enough international experience and his downward spiral in IPL 2020 could have him wait further for a permanent spot in the national team.
According to Kevin Pietersen, Rishabh Pant does not turn out the way he is expected to and he needs to adopt consistency to play for India. The South African born underlined that Pant has repeated the same inconsistent rate of scoring every year.
“Rishabh Pant is someone who disappoints because we expect a lot from him. In order to get that India tag and play international cricket, you need to show some consistency and get better. But I am seeing the same player that I saw the year before, the year before and the year before that. For as long as he has played, he has been inconsistent,” Pietersen stated as quoted by India Today.
“You want tough people for international cricket” : Kevin Pietersen
In contrast, Sanju Samson’s dedication and commitment has impressed Kevin Pietersen, especially the way he has turned out for this IPL. He lauded his willingness to remain fit; however, accepts his failures. At the same time, Pietersen believes that striving to get better is the way forward and that international cricket requires tough people. Both have 176 runs in the six matches of IPL 2020 so far; however, Pant’s average of 35.20 is better than Samson’s 29.20.
“And when I see Sanju Samson, I see somebody completely different. The dedication and commitment that he put into, turning up for this year’s IPL that mighty impressed me. That actually got me having him ahead of Rishabh Pant. Just purely from a diet basis, fitness basis and a dedication space, Samson seems to say ‘I want to go out there and do everything in my power to play cricket for India’. And he has got runs after runs. He has failed a couple of times but what you need is that dedication which he has for international cricket because when the going gets tough, the tough get going. You want tough people for international cricket,” the 39-year old added.