With MSD out of BCCI central contract, Rishabh Pant’s hot and cold form, KL Rahul’s purple patch and Samson in contention; there’s a potential wicket-keepers’ tug-of-war in team India at the moment.
Team India might be foreseeing an uncertain future in the wicket-keeping slot after the former Indian captain and wicket-keeper MS Dhoni is no longer a part of the BCCI central contract.
On one hand, there’s Rishabh Pant who has been plagued with continuous failures in limited-overs format despite being provided ample opportunities. On the other hand, there’s a highly talented Sanju Samson getting picked in the squad but hardly getting a game.
If one feels that team India got an answer to the number 4 slot in the form of Shreyas Iyer, then just hold your horses… This team is never short of debate topics!
There is a brand new ‘wicket-keepers’ dilemma going on right now. Fans may still not feel it but it certainly is.
Adding to this dilemma was KL Rahul who kept the wickets in the first ODI against Australia in Mumbai. With Pant being ruled out due to mild concussion, Rahul was suited for the opportunity given his excellent form. Besides being good with the bat, he offers an extra dimension as a wicket-keeper.
Rishabh Pant – The Most Viable
Currently, there’s significant consideration for the wicket-keeper slot with no one claiming it. With MS Dhoni not in the frame post the ICC CWC 2019, Rishabh Pant leads the way as the most viable prospect. It is certain that BCCI is looking up to him as a future option.
Pant has been the lead wicket-keeper post the CWC 2019 in ODI’s and T20I’s. But the question remains, “Does his performance justifies his place?” Barring his test performances in Australia and a few others, he hasn’t been able to perform in ODI’s. This is also the general sentiment among the fans.
The BCCI and team management have backed the talented youngster but in the hindsight, even he would know that maybe he hasn’t performed to his potential.
Sanju Samson – The Contender
This is why the fans and media have been rooting for Sanju Samson – another talented wicket-keeper batsman from Kerala. He has been a part of the team in the last few series but has only been warming the bench on most occasions.
Luckily, he got a game in the last T20I against Sri Lanka at Pune where he perished after a first-ball six. Samson surely deserves his chances. The intense competition for spots in the Indian team at the moment mandates him to perform better and better. He must grab the little opportunities he is getting.
KL Rahul – The Dark Horse
The recent good run of K.L. Rahul forced the team management to include him in the playing eleven in the first ODI against Australia in Mumbai. With Pant not being able to take the field due to concussion in the second innings, it was K.L. who donned the gloves.
Rahul’s inclusion, as a result, turned out to be a good move. Though he may not be a regular wicket-keeper, being a prolific batsman he does offer an extra dimension in cases such as these.
So it is seems that Rishabh Pant was available for selection today. If he was in the squad as the no 1 keeper and was out only because of injury, surely be had to come right back in once fit again.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 19, 2020
Evidently, the team has a nice tussle for a ‘wicket-keeper batsman’ at the moment. It’s a classic tri-series of Pant vs Samson vs Rahul, with neither of them standing up on both fronts. All this when MS is not being considered.
As of now, it’s Pant who has been getting chances but two strong contenders aren’t far behind. Out of those two, KL Rahul has been presenting a strong case for himself.
After the series win against Australia, even the Indian captain Virat Kohli said that KL has done extremely well both as a batsman and a wicket-keeper. The skipper confirmed that the team will continue with him behind the stumps in the near future.