Sunil Gavaskar has thrown in a new idea for the Indian cricket team, as the former India legend has opined the team India can try out KL Rahul as a wicketkeeper in the Test format as well. According to Gavaskar, this will allow the comeback of Ajinkya Rahane in the team.
He has backed his case by adding the fact that Dinesh Karthik has not kept wickets for Tamil Nadu during the Ranji Trophy season,
“Clearly, going into an overseas Test series with just five batsmen has not worked. Since South Africa are thinking in terms of going in with an all-pace attack, it might make sense for India to go in with Rahane and have Rahul keep wickets. It is a big risk but then Dinesh Karthik has not kept wickets for Tamil Nadu in every game last season. India may look to leave out Ashwin and bring in another new-ball bowler, with Pandya being the fifth bowler,” he wrote in his column for TOI.
Experimenting Rahul can be something which the Indian team can try out but having called Dinesh Karthik in the team; it can get confirmed that he would keep the wickets in the third Test and at least in this series, Rahul will not be doing this job.
Coming to the prospect of this idea in future, he can be tried out in the longest format too, but before this, he can be advised to keep wickets in domestic cricket in the first-class format. He had kept wickets for Indian team once on the tour of Sri Lanka in 2015 and also for RCB, but he had performed this job occasionally and not on a permanent basis.
If the Indian team plans to look Rahul like this way, they can groom him accordingly and also; he has to leave his opening job.
Presently, seniors Wriddhiman Saha, Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel and Naman Ojha are the wicketkeepers that are available to do this job. The first three players are presently in the team (Saha out due to injury) while Ojha can make a comeback if he does well in the domestic cricket.
Team India needs a permanent backup for Saha in the longest format, and surely, the race is open for Patel, Karthik and Ojha.
Few youngsters in the form of Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson are also available, but they haven’t done well to reach the Test side. In fact, Rishabh and Kishan were also tried out for Indian A on foreign tours and also in Duleep Trophy, but they failed to capitalise the opportunity, which forced selectors to call back Karthik after a period eight years.
It will be interesting to see whether the team management will look to formulate Gavaskar’s idea in future.
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