Former Indian opener and World Cup hero, Gautam Gambhir, in a recent interview on Star Sports Cricket Connected, has opined that in the form of KL Rahul India have found an apt replacement for the legendary MS Dhoni.
With the chances of IPL 2020 looking very slim, MS Dhoni’s international comeback seems a distant thing as of now. MS Dhoni has been planning to stage a comeback in the international team through IPL 2020. But now with the lockdown extending till 3 May and World T20 looming large Dhoni has little time to press his case as Wicket Keeper batsman in team India.
“If the IPL does not happen this year, then it will become very difficult for MS Dhoni to make a comeback. On what basis can he be selected since he’s not been playing for the last one or one and a half year,” said Gambhir during Star Sports Cricket Connected.
In the absence of MS Dhoni, Indian selectors gave unlimited chances to Rishabh Pant, but the left-hander failed to make the most of the chances. And a concussion injury in January this year paved way for KL Rahul ‘the Wicket Keeper’.
KL Rahul has been in red hot form in the limited overs cricket, amassing runs in both formats with a remarkable consistency and strike rate. But it was his versatility and adaptability that earned him a permanent spot in the famed Indian batting line-up. Ever since taking the gloves the Karnataka batsman has scored 527 runs at an astonishing average of 65.87 and a strike rate of 125.77 including one century and four half-centuries.
Praising the versatility of KL Rahul, Gambhir said, “The apt replacement for Dhoni could be KL Rahul. Ever since he has donned the keeper’s gloves in white-ball cricket, I’ve seen his performance, both batting and keeping. Obviously his keeping is not as good as Dhoni’s, but if you are looking at T20 cricket, Rahul’s a utility player, can keep and bat at No. 3 or 4.”
Gambhir also threw light upon the current scenario about MS Dhoni’s future in Blue. “If the IPL does not happen, then MS Dhoni’s chances for a comeback look dim. Ultimately, you are representing India, so whoever dishes out the best performance and can win the match for India should play for the team. As far as his retirement plans go by, that’s his personal choice,” Gambhir added.
With the T20 World Cup not far away, Pant and Dhoni (in case he makes a comeback) need to deliver urgently considering the current form of KL in shorter formats of the game else they might end up missing the bus to World T20.