Syed Kirmani, former Indian World Cup-winning wicket-keeper, isn’t entirely convinced about KL Rahul’s wicketkeeping abilities.
Syed Kirmani played cricket at a time when the role of a wicket-keeper was seen in a completely different light as compared to how it is seen today.
The rise of Adam Gilchrist, Andy Flower, K Kumar Sangakkara, and MS Dhoni has completely revolutionized the role of a keeper, with them expected to be an equal potent batsman along with their skills behind the wickets.
Kirmani feels that a wicketkeeper has inherent natural gifts like good vision, athletic agility, and quick reflexes, something he doesn’t feel, is the case with KL Rahul.
“Do the knowledgeable know that a wicketkeeper has to be born. When I say born, he or she has to be gifted with ‘good vision, supported with athletic agility, reflexes, sense of anticipation’. I am not sure if KL Rahul possesses this gifted ability,” Syed Kirmani told Hindustan Times.
He added: “I have only seen this lad batting all by himself on a bowling machine at the NCA, before representing Karnataka. When he started keeping wickets, I don’t know. All the best to him.”
Groom Rishabh Pant properly: Syed Kirmani
India has been grappling with the wicket-keeper conundrum in the post-MS Dhoni-era. Rishabh Pant has struggled to live up to the expectations despite continuous backing by the team-management.
The 21-year-old endured a torrid 2019 where with every passing game, his performances with both bat and with the gloves dipped substantially, increasing the scrutiny substantially.
KL Rahul was given the gloves for the very first time when Pant got injured during the 1st ODI against Australia earlier this year. Rahul grabbed the opportunity with both hands and Pant has since then been consigned to the bench in white-ball cricket.
He did not play a single game in the T20I and ODI series against New Zealand before getting recalled ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the Test series.
The moves raised eyebrows and Pant’s dismal run during the two Tests (60 runs in 4 innings) didn’t help his cause either. According to Kirmani, Pant should be groomed properly in order to ensure that his talent does not go waste.