Former Indian wicketkeepers Nayan Mongia, Deep Dasgupta and MSK Prasad collectively agreed that KL Rahul is likely to become India's first-choice wicketkeeper as far as the white-ball format is concerned. MS Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday evening, thus clearing the way for Rahul to become the team's regular keeper.
It all started with Rishabh Pant being ruled out of the second ODI against Australia when they toured India for a three-match ODI series. KL Rahul batted at number five and showed tremendous batting skills in the middle-order. He also kept decently, sparking a debate on whether he was a better option than Rishabh Pant as India's first-choice keeper.
KL Rahul also scored a hundred in New Zealand batting in the middle-order and Nayan Mongia certainly felt that he should be the first choice wicketkeeper-batsman.
"KL, I think will be the first choice in 50 overs. Whatever I have seen of KL, he hasn't been bad behind the stumps and also once he started keeping, his batting form improved in white ball cricket. On form, KL will be my first choice and after that you can look at Rishabh and give him chances," Nayan Mongia told PTI.
KL Rahul had a fantastic outing in New Zealand in T20 and ODI series
KL Rahul was absolutely brilliant as India beat New Zealand 5-0 in the T20I series earlier this year. Dasgupta was also convinced that Rahul should be a certainty in the T20 format.
But keeping the 2023 World Cup in mind, he wanted the team management to talk to Rahul about a long-term role at number five because he is naturally an opener.
"Look, in T20s, I believe both can play in the XI. But given a choice, KL will be my Man for the time at least in T20s. However in 50 over format, may be team management and selectors can speak to him and see he wants to do it long term till 2023 World Cup and bat at No 5 which is a critical slot in the middle-order," Dasgupta said.
Former selector MSK Prasad too believed that going by the New Zealand series, Rahul will be the first choice. With Dhoni's retirement, Prasad believes Rishabh Pant can play with more freedom and without thinking about his place in the team.Published 16 Aug 2020, 18:34 IST