3 players who can be India's long-term solution for the wicket-keeper's slot
- While India finds itself in the post-Dhoni era, read on to see who can be his long-term replacements.
For nearly 15 years, there was no question as to who would don the gloves for the Men in Blue. It was a given that one of the smartest cricketing brains in the history of the game, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, would be the ideal man to lead the side and plot the downfall of the opposition.
However, since the end of the 2019 edition of the 50-over World Cup, there has been little to no news about MS Dhoni's availability. As the World T20 continues to come closer, the uncertainty of the matter has only continued to grow. Granted, his T20I performances have not been stupendous so to speak, but Dhoni's expertise behind the stumps with respect to the DRS, as well as assisting the bowlers with their next steps is certainly something that needs a ton of experience.
Since then, India have tried out a few options behind the stumps but none have impressed. KL Rahul, who has very recently been given the role has looked good and is one of the frontrunners. While this solves a few problems in the Indian batting order, the real question is if Rahul can carry on with wicket-keeping without it impacting his role as a key batsman in T20Is.
Before Rahul, Rishabh Pant was given a long rope as the wicket-keeper batsman and unfortunately failed to perform. Pant's inexperience as a batsman led to him often throwing away his wicket in situations where he was needed, and this carried on for long enough for him to be replaced. Sanju Samson has also been given a go behind the stumps, albeit for just a few innings, but has failed to show that he's here to stay.
With all this, the question that arises is, who is the long term option for India behind the stumps?
On that note, here are 3 potential candidates who could fill that spot, while having at least five years of the game time left in them.
#3 KL Rahul
The first and most obvious choice for the next permanent wicket-keeper batsman would have to be KL Rahul. With his performances against New Zealand in the T20I series, he has shown the management that he can be one of the three-dimensional players that they're always on the lookout for, who can don multiple hats. What he also does is free up a spot for a purist batsman, perhaps a finisher.
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If that isn't enough, he's also being viewed as captaincy material, which was clear from the New Zealand series where he was seen leading the team during Virat Kohli's absence.
The only real concern that stands in Rahul's way is the fact that his consistency with the bat may suffer due to having too many roles. The candle that burns the brightest is often the candle that burns out the fastest. India, however, have been lucky with players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, where this has not been the case. If Rahul can follow in those footsteps, the Indian team management will feel like they've solved a huge issue.