With MS Dhoni retiring from the International Cricket, 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.
After a heart-breaking loss in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, Indian selectors gave unlimited chances to Rishabh Pant in the absence of MS Dhoni, but the left-hander failed to make the most of the chances. In between those failures, KL Rahul and Sanju Samson are also trusted to do the job. But eventually, only KL Rahul has shown the potential; and temperament to grab the position.
But KL Rahul keeping wickets can’t be a long-term solution especially in ODIs and Test Match Cricket. The Karnataka batsman, although, have worked on his keeping, yet team India would look for a permanent wicket-keeper rather than a makeshift option in KL Rahul.
With India’s next international assignment almost one and half month away, the debate over MS Dhoni’s successor has started. After legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara termed Rishabh Pant his ‘No.1 choice’ after Dhoni, former England captain Kevin Pietersen has voiced his opinion on Star Sports.
“When I see Sanju Samson, I see completely different. The dedication, the commitment he put into turning up for this year’s IPL, that impressed me,” said Pietersen on Star Sports. In the ongoing IPL, there is nothing much to separate between the duo. In six IPL matches, both have scored 176 runs, making significant contribution in a couple of matches so far.
But Kevin Pietersen looks impressed with the way Samson is shaping his career and diet regime. “That actually got him ahead of Rishabh Pant for me, just purely from diet-base, fitness base and from dedication. He said, I want to go out there and do everything I can to play cricket for India. He’s got runs after runs. He failed a couple of times. But that dedication is what you need to get into international cricket,” said Pietersen.
Pietersen also added that Pant lacks consistency and often disappoint. “Rishabh Pant is somebody who disappoints. Because he is someone I expect so much from. And, I am yet to consistently see him giving performances with the bat day in and day out,” he added.
“In order to get that Indian tag, and to play international cricket, you need some consistencies. You need to get better. I am seeing the same player I saw a year before, and a year before, and a year before that. As long as he has been playing, he has been inconsistent,” he said.