After a disappointing start of the One Day International serie sagainst Australia, Team India bounced back brilliantly as the skipper Virat Kohli’s change up of game plan worked flawlessly. One of the main factors was to play KL Rahul instead of Rishab Pant as wicket keeper, the latter who suffered a concussion in the first match and had to be substituted. While the team management and the fandom is eyeing Rahul as the perfect successor to the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni, dissent is coming from none other than Sunil Gavaskar.
KL Rahul replaced an unavailable Rishab Pant as keeper in the first game, and continued for the rest of the series. In second game at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rahul went down to 5th place in the batting order, and again went back up to being an opener in the third and final match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.
Along with an impressive performance with the glove, the 27 year old scored a total of 246 runs in the series, including a swashbuckling 80-off-52 in the second match last Friday.
While Virat Kohli himself stated that he is preferring Rahul over Pant as the keeper for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, Sunil Gavaskar disagrees. In an interview with Aaj Tak, the former cricketer said that he prefers Pant for red ball formats.
“I will go with Rishabh Pant in the limited-overs cricket. If you need a finisher at No. 6 then Rishabh Pant can do that for the team.” Gavaskar told reporters.
While Rahul proved his adaptability in a variety of roles against the Aussies, Gavaskar thinks variations should exist in regards of handedness, as Pant is the only left handed batsman in the Men in Blues squad after Shikhar Dhawan.
The 70 year old continued: “Also he is a left-handed batsman, so considering the Indian batting line-up where we have only one left-handed batsman in form of Shikhar Dhawan, so if we have another southpaw in top-order then it will be beneficial for the team. So I will go with Rishabh Pant.”
Team India’s series against the Black Caps starts this Friday with the first game of the T20 series at the Eden Park Stadium.