Gautam Gambhir Identifies ‘Apt Replacement’ for MS Dhoni
Updated on: Apr 13, 2020 6:31 pm IST
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has named KL Rahul as someone who could be an “apt replacement” for MS Dhoni in the shorter formats of the game.
Although Dhoni is yet to announce his retirement from cricket, it’s a foregone conclusion that his days as a serious international cricketer are numbered. In fact, he is yet to play any form of competitive cricket, be it for the national team or in the domestic circuit, since India were knocked out of the 2019 50-over World Cup in July last year.
The T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played Down Under later this year, is being seen as a last hurrah for Dhoni in Indian colours, but the coronavirus pandemic has thrown serious doubts over the prestigious tournaments, and Gambhir thinks, if the tournament is postponed, Dhoni may find it difficult to make into the Indian team.
Voicing his opinion on Star Sports Cricket Connected, Gambhir said:
“If the IPL does not happen this year, then it will become very difficult for MS Dhoni to make a comeback. On what basis can he be selected since he’s not been playing for the last one or one and a half years.”
The cricketer-turned-politician then said that KL Rahul could be the ideal replacement for Dhoni behind the wickets, at least in the T20s and ODIs.
“The apt replacement for Dhoni could be KL Rahul. Ever since he has donned the keeper’s gloves in white-ball cricket, I’ve seen his performance, both batting and keeping. “Obviously his keeping is not as good as Dhoni’s, but if you are looking at T20 cricket, Rahul’s a utility player, can keep and bat at No. 3 or 4. “
Rishabh Pant is also in the loop, as far as wicket-keeping position is concerned, but he hasn’t fulfilled the potential yet, either with the bat or gloves, and selectors were forced to use KL Rahul, and the Kings XI Punjab Batsman hasn’t looked back since then.
In fact, Rahul’s output has increased ever since he has started to keep the wickets. He has amassed 303 runs at an incredible average of 75.75 and a strike rate of 114.77, while in T20Is, he has managed to score 224 runs at an average of 56.00 and a strike rate of 144.51.