With MS Dhoni retiring from the International Cricket last Sunday, the Indian Cricket team selectors will face a huge task of finding an apt replacement for the legend. While it’s almost impossible for any player to fill in the big shoes of MS Dhoni, selectors have to make sure that they find someone worthy of the position asap.
Indian team has not won a World Cup trophy for a decade now. And with the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 being hosted in India, there will be huge expectations from team India.
After a heart-breaking loss in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, Indian selectorsgave unlimited chances to Rishabh Pant in the absence of MS Dhoni, but the left-hander failed to make the most of the chances. Eventually gifting his place to KL Rahul – after a concussion injury in January this year.
In the first series as Wicket-Keeper batsman, KL Rahul grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he not only amassed runs in both formats but also did a satisfactory job behind the stumps. Apart from his customary opening position in T20Is, he also provided assurance with his finishing skills, batting at No. 5 in ODIs.
And now with MS Dhoni out of the race, it will be a huge ask from the Karnataka lad to fill in the huge void of Dhoni – the master finisher and wicketkeeper. Along with KL will be in the frame is Rishabh Pant, but the former Wicket-Keeper batsmen have backed KL to be the first-choice wicketkeeper going forward.
Former India wicketkeepers Nayan Mongia, Deep Dasgupta, in recent interviews, spoke highly of KL and conceded that India might benefit in long run from the rise of KL.
“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 first 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,” said Deep Dasgupta, former opener and Cricket analyst.