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Contenders for the Wicket keeper's Slot for India in 2019 World Cup

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
3.63K   //    23 Jul 2018, 10:42 IST

With the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England less than a year way, the speculations regarding who will make it to the final Indian squad that gets selected for the tournament have already started.

Some players like Virat Kohli Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are guaranteed selections. But there are a few spots in the team for which, there is likely to be fierce competition.

There is the spinner's spot, where the youngsters like Chahal and Kuldeep are competing with veterans like Ashwin and Jadeja, and also the fast bowling department, where there are at least a dozen talented pace men competing for about 4-odd slots.

The wicket-keeper's slot, till recently, was a position where Mahendra Singh Dhoni seemed to be the obvious first choice and it was only a competition between the others for the standby keeper's slot.

However, the recent slump in form of Dhoni has made the Indian middle order look fragile. His inability to score runs at a quick pace has slowed down the run rate in the middle overs and created pressure on his batting partners and the lower middle order.

Moreover, with age not on Dhoni's side and youngsters like Rishabh Pant coming up, competition for the first choice wicket-keeper's slot for India in the 2019 World Cup is wide open.

Dhoni still remains the first choice and with the backing of the team management with him, he will most probably make the squad. But the ones who will be in contention to replace Dhoni for the wicket-keeper's slot if his dip in form continues are as follows.

1) Rishabh Pant

Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils - IPL T20 cricket
Rishabh Pant is the most exciting alternative

This 20 year old young sensation from New Delhi has been the talk of the town ever since he arrived in the Ranji Trophy scene. From smashing a 48 ball century to scoring a triple hundred in his debut season, he has always produced something special.

Because of his dashing batting style, he used to be a little inconsistent in the initial period of his career. But he has quickly matured and learned how to score quickly and consistently. By being the 2nd highest run scorer in IPL 2018 with 684 runs at an average on 52.61, he has proved that he is ready for the big stage.

He seems to be one of the frontrunners to replace Dhoni in near future. With his quick scoring and match winning ability he can be the perfect solution of spicing up the fragile and slow scoring Indian middle order.

However his lack of International experience and wicket keeping skills can go against him.


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ANALYST
Civil engineer by profession and an ardent sports enthusiast. Olympic sports like shooting, archery, table tennis hockey ,weightlifting, athletics, wrestling, gymnastics, badminton etc where the unsung heroes of India exist, is what I follow. Their success makes me proud and their stories is what I want to bring in front of all.
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