back icon
16 Aug 2020 | 02:02 PM
KL Rahul looks first-choice keeper in white-ball for now: former India wicket-keepers
MSK Prasad feels that KL will have a slight edge but Rishabh will be there in the mix

Rishabh Pant will feel a weight off his shoulders after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's international retirement but the immensely talented KL Rahul is the likely first choice in white-ball cricket for the foreseeable future, feel three former India wicket-keepers.

Nayan Mongia, MSK Prasad and Deep Dasgupta agreed in unison that at present it will be a two-horse race between Rahul and Pant with Sanju Samson adding the third dimension but somewhat distantly remaining infringes.

"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 on Sunday.

While Dasgupta agreed with Mongia, he feels the team could be "format flexible" on using Rahul and Pant.

"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," Dasgupta, who has extensively covered Indian cricket in past few years as a broadcaster, said.

For Prasad, who recently was head of the selection committee, also agrees that KL will have a slight edge but Rishabh will be there in the mix.

"If you go by New Zealand series, the last one we played, KL starts as first choice and Sanju is also there but as the third choice. He did well and gives that flexibility to play extra batsman or bowler as per conditions.

"But yes, after five months, everyone starts from scratch and IPL form will be important," said Prasad.

So where does it leave Pant? Prasad and Dasgupta feel that Dhoni's retirement should make Pant breathe easier.

"Don't forget that the constant comparisons with Dhoni would have weighed a lot on his young mind. It doesn't help in getting performances with that pressure. So now, he is free and can express himself in the best possible manner. But yes, he also needs to mature a bit as a player," Dasgupta asserted.

For Prasad, Pant can now be "Rishabh rather than being Mahi Junior".

"Indian cricket has invested in Rishabh Pant over the last few years. We have seen the best and worst of Pant in these years. He is someone who will serve Indian cricket for a long time provided he is groomed properly.

"This IPL will also prove where each one stands in terms of form and fitness. But I agree that Rishabh needs to be given a fair go before you think of anyone else," Prasad said.

Mongia, however, feels that there will be pressure and that's a good thing for young Pant.

"It's huge boots to fill in and rightly so. You don't get MS Dhonis everyday. So Pant will get his opportunity and let him prove his mettle. I am sure that the team management will give him enough chances.

"He has potential and now what he will do with the chances is up to him," Mongia said. 

Mahendra Singh DhoniRishabh Rajendra PantKannaur Lokesh RahulIndia
Related Articles
Nehra feels Pant should be backed in the Indian team
The wicketkeeper-batsman has been in good form in IPL 2020 so far Staff
06 Oct 2020
KL Rahul can be an all-format wicketkeeper in future
In an exhaustive interview to former India wicketkeeper and former chairman of the selection committee, Kiran More talks about wicketkeepers in India, whether KL Rahul is a future Test ‘keeper and more
Vimal Kumar
24 Jul 2020
Pant could do with a mind coach, says Brad Hogg
"Definitely, I turn on my television when Rishabh Pant comes to the crease, the entertainer," said Hogg
26 Mar 2020
Pant will work under a specialist wicketkeeping coach: Prasad
The team management has backed the wicketkeeper-batsman despite his lukewarm performances of late
23 Dec 2019
Pant needs to justify team's faith soon or else lose place to Samson: Laxman
Laxman was also impressed with Shreyas Iyer’s maturity
28 Nov 2019
Pant putting undue pressure on himself by trying to fill Dhoni's shoes: MSK Prasad
India's chief selector feels the youngster should rather back his “unbelievable talent” to bounce back
27 Nov 2019
Please leave Rishabh Pant alone: Rohit Sharma
In T20Is, Pant has scored 352 runs in 22 games at 20.70
09 Nov 2019
We are moving on, says chief selector on Dhoni
Dhoni has made himself unavailable for selection after the 50-over World Cup
25 Oct 2019
Yuvraj backs Pant, says he needs guidance from Kohli
Yuvraj said Pant doesn’t deserve the criticism coming his way
24 Sep 2019
Decision to retire will completely be Dhoni's: MSK Prasad
The former India captain made himself unavailable for the upcoming tour of West Indies
21 Jul 2019
Cricket like never before
Term of use
Privacy Policy
Cookies Policy
Follow us on
@ 2020 | All rights reserved