Tags: India, Rishabh Rajendra Pant, Sanju Viswanath Samson, Kannaur Lokesh Rahul, Krishnakumar Dinesh Karthik, Ishan Pranav Kumar Pandey Kishan
Published on: Jul 26, 2020
It has been more than a year since Dhoni last played for India. Still India is yet to find a permanent wicketkeeper. Ever since when he made his debut for India in 2004, the keeper’s slot in the team has been virtually fixed. But now that he is no longer playing, it has been a game of musical chairs as far as Indian keepers are concerned. Let’s look at the prospective wicketkeepers who can make the spot their own:
1. Rishabh Pant: Undoubtedly everyone’s favourite choice a year ago. Touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket, he hasn’t quite delivered as well as he has been expected to. To everyone’s surprise, he has performed much better in test matches as compared to limited overs matches. He has test hundreds in England and Australia both, a feat no Indian keeper ever has been able to achieve. His IPL performances over last three years are also second to none. But when it comes to international limited overs matches, it is a different story altogether. Due to the fact that he hasn’t been consistent with the bat and his performance behind the stumps is also shaky, he has been in and out of the side, but still remains the frontrunner to replace MSD in the long run.
2. Sanju Samson: He made his India debut in 2015, and the fact that he has represented India only four times (all in T20s) in those five years since his debut, speaks volumes of his inconsistency. A stylish stroke maker, who bats predominantly in the top order, he has the potential of emulating the likes of Adam Gilchrist at the top, but hasn’t got enough chances perhaps to prove his mettle. That being said, he still has age on his side and with uncertainty in the Indian side over the keeper’s slot, he can very well make the spot his own with some standout IPL/domestic performances.
3. KL Rahul: The only batsman in this list who is a regular in the side with or without the gloves. Even though he is a makeshift keeper, he has shown willingness to don the gloves even in ODIs, and has done a great job at it, yet he just doesn’t seem to be the permanent solution. Not to forget the fact that he opens the innings mostly and has just started to become consistent with the bat, extra responsibility with the gloves might just hamper his batting.
4. Dinesh Karthik: He arrived on the international circuit before Dhoni, but always played under his shadows. Had it not been for Dhoni’s consistent performance over the years, Karthik might as well have been the permanent keeper of the side all this time. Having said that, time and time again he has forced his way back into the team as a specialist batsman on the back of strong performances in the IPL. Touted as a T20 finisher these days, he can be trusted with the gloves even though he doesn’t have many years of cricket left in him.
5. Ishan Kishan: A young keeper batsman also hailing from Jharkhand, he has shown in his short career so far that he can be a dynamic batsman and a reliable keeper at the same time. He has shown glimpses of what he is capable of in the IPL and domestic matches, but is yet to be drafted in the Indian setup, and that is unlikely to happen before the selectors exhaustively try out the above mentioned four players.