Ever since MS Dhoni announced his retirement from white-ball cricket, the wicketkeeping position has been up for grabs, with quite a few options. Players like Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan are all the ideal contenders to hold the wicketkeeper-batsman place in the Indian team, especially in the shortest format of the game.
Before the epic Australia tour, India’s preferred choice of wicketkeeper was Rahul, but after the tour down under, Pant has regained his place as the regular wicketkeeper. Apart from these two, Sanju and Ishan have also played T20I fixtures for Team India but haven’t yet kept the wickets.
So, who should be India’s wicketkeeper-batsman in the T20Is, considering the T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in India later this year. Well, former India cricketer, VVS Laxman, has revealed his choice.
The cricketer-turned-commentator has picked Pant ahead of Rahul, Sanju and Ishan for the wicketkeeper-batsman role in the T20I format. While speaking on the launch of ‘1971: The Beginning of India’s Cricketing Greatness’ by sports journalists Boria Majumdar and Gautam Bhattacharya, Laxman said that India are ‘spoiled for choices’, but Pant has improved his game and impressed everyone with his wicketkeeping skills in the recent few months.
The 46-year-old spoke about India’s historic triumph in Australia and termed it the ‘best he has seen in Indian cricket’. Laxman agreed that the Indian team has quite a few options for the role of wicketkeeper, but Pant has attracted praise through his superb performances and evolved himself as a mature batsman in the middle-order.
“I just feel that India again is blessed. Aakash just mentioned about the 2021 win in Australia, probably the best I have seen in Indian cricket. I think India is spoiled for choices. They can make Sanju Samon the captain for Rajasthan Royals. Then there is Ishan Kishan. KL Rahul has done well whenever he has donned the gloves and batted at the top and middle-order,” said Laxman as quoted by India Today.
“But somehow, I just feel that Rishabh Pant is that player I would choose for the wicketkeeper-batsman’s slot. He has really improved and impressed everyone with his wicketkeeping abilities. Not just that, as a left-hander, coming in the middle overs, he is someone who can just take away the game from any opposition. I would definitely go with Rishabh,” he added.