HomeAnalysisWill KL Rahul’s brilliant run as wicketkeeper-batsman shut doors...

Will KL Rahul’s brilliant run as wicketkeeper-batsman shut doors for Rishabh Pant?

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Indian Team is on a roll in 2020, as they started the year with a comfortable series win against the Aussies and now they look forward to taking on New Zealand as well.
The team has performed extensively under pressure and the recent form of the players is a big advantage for the team management and the captain.
Indian Team has reached new heights under the captaincy of Virat Kohli but in the absence of MS Dhoni, the decision to play the wicketkeeper has been quite exhausting for him as well as the management. 
MS Dhoni is on the verge of retiring from the team and the team has been in search of his replacement. Rishabh Pant, at one time, was considered as a perfect replacement for MS and played quite some time as the main wicket-keeper of India.
Even though after several chances, the player failed to balance himself under pressure and there were only a few occasions where the wicketkeeper-batsman proved his place in the team. 
Rishabh Pant is a talented player and has scored some fine runs in domestic cricket playing for Delhi. It is not that he is not a good player, but the amount of pressure that has been bolstered on the young player has made him cut ties with his form and consistency.
It’s not the first time we have seen a promising youngster not able to perform on the international stage. The major factor behind the downfall of Pant is the constant comparison with the great MS Dhoni. 
In the recent India-Australia series, Rishabh Pant suffered a concussion and was ruled out due to that and since then KL Rahul has been wearing the wicketkeeping gloves for Team India.
KL Rahul has been consistent with his performance since for the past 2 years and the absence of Shikhar Dhawan from the team allowed him to showcase his worth to the selectors and the captain.
KL is not new to wicketkeeping and has been the keeper for Team Karnataka in domestic cricket and Kings XI Punjab in IPL as the regular IPL. 
It will not be a surprise for the Indian fans if Virat Kohli decides to make KL Rahul as the primary wicketkeeper for the time being.
Seeing KL Rahul evolve as an opener and a wicketkeeper, he reminds of his mentor Rahul Dravid, except with better wicketkeeping skills.
KL stepped up for his captain and grabbed the opportunity to keep for India with both the hands and proved his mettle on the field. 
Rishabh Pant Rishabh Pant is an explosive batsman and a match-winner | Image Source: ICC-cricket
 
His batting is not affected after becoming the primary wicketkeeper and this could be worrying for Rishabh Pant and could delay his comeback.
KL Rahul has been an effective keeper-batsman in T20s, but in the longer format, it could be tiring for the young man. The team needs a wicketkeeper who would bat at the 5th or 6th position so that he can stabilize the innings after recovering from a long day standing behind the stumps. 
In the matches against Australia, KL batted at No. 4 and 5 positions and was completely phenomenal with the bat. Rishabh Pant, on the other hand, has not been that effective either with the bat or with the gloves.
Rishabh Pant needs some time off the calendar for the Indian Team and should practice his skills with the domestic team and should come back a stronger and better version of himself.
Even if he’s in the team, Pant doesn’t get a place in the playing XI and this could demoralize the player, and at such a tender age it is not a great move for the left-hander. 
Rishabh proved himself in Test Cricket and World Cup but at that time he wasn’t pressurized and grinded the way he is right now, and played under the cover of MS Dhoni, which gave him ample amount of time and opportunities to showcase his strengths.
There was a time when Rishabh Pant was played instead of experienced wicketkeepers like Wriddhiman Saha and Dinesh Karthik, but now the Indian team was in desperate need of his comeback. 
It will be wrong to say that Rishabh Pant will not return to the team anytime soon, because no matter how well KL performs, Team India will want him to focus on his batting more so that he can open the innings perfectly.
In the present state, KL is playing as a brilliant interim wicketkeeper until a regular one takes over, but it will not be a shocker if KL shifts down the order and concentrates on wicketkeeping as a primary job for Team India. 
Rahul can get things done whenever his team needs and the technique with which he hits the ball, makes him a perfect middle-order/opener batsman.
Team India is playing under the big stress of the wicket-keeping dilemma but the bigger problem is for Rishabh Pant right now. For him, the doors to the playing XI seem to be closing quite early and he should focus on his came to make a comeback. 

The decision is for the captain to take

Virat Kohli declared KL rahul as wicketkeeper for Indian Cricket Team
 
The media is quite fond of dilemmas and the current dilemma between Pant and Rahul has given them a lot of content during the press conferences.
Now and then, the question arises whether Rishabh Pant will make a comeback as the wicketkeeper or will KL Rahul continue his brilliant run with the bat and behind the stumps.
No one seems to have the answer to this question and it is always redirected to the captain of the team to reply. There has been no definitive decision on the wicketkeeping dilemma in the team and the board members are silent until further retaliation. 
Sourav Ganguly, the President of the Board of Cricket Council in India, has left the decision up to the captain and doesn’t wish to interfere in the matter.
While the team council’s quiet, Rishabh Pant has been excluded from the playing XI but it could be a possibility that he returns in the left-over matches after the Indian Team won the series against New Zealand.
Virat Kohli does not seem to be in favor of playing Rishabh Pant right now, but there can be decisions taken in the upcoming matches.

KL Rahul’s form in Test Cricket

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KL rahul as wicketkeeper for Indian Cricket Team
 
Playing KL Rahul as the regular wicketkeeper is a great advantage and seeing his form the team can be sure of an upcoming storm.
He has been in an exceptional form and his wicketkeeping skills aren’t bad either. He has been a regular keeper for the Punjab side and this is a great advantage for him.
Considered as the rising star of the Indian team, he has started his preparation to captain the Kings XI Punjab in IPL this year. 
His current form and position flexibility are major routines for the Indian team and his ability to play according to the needs is a major advantage.
Even after his brilliant form in white-ball cricket, the player has not been able to prove his mettle in Test matches. The red ball has been a haunting figure in Kl Rahul’s innings and this is the only factor that plays in Rishabh Pant’s favor right now.
If KL wishes to continue as the regular wicketkeeper for Team India in all the three formats, he will have to understand the importance of red ball and how to work accordingly. Rishabh Pant had quite a run in Test Cricket, now it will be a delight to see who will be the regular and who will play the usher to it. 

Experience Matters

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant is a brilliant talent and it is quite definitive that he will return to the Indian team, but it’s just a matter of time before he does.
He is a natural hitter of the ball and the captain would want him to concentrate on his game thoroughly to make a comeback.
Rishabh Pant requires ore playtime and experience and he should look for a move to domestic cricket and come back much stronger than before.
It’s no doubt that a talent like Rishabh Pant deserves a place in the playing XI, but he should work on his skills to make the best use of them and assist the team in the best way possible. 
KL Rahul has a good amount of experience in domestic as well as international cricket and his ability to carry the team under pressure is what makes him a better option than Pant.
Both the players can play in the team and Pant can go back to wicketkeeping, but the current scenario doesn’t allow that.
It will be a delight to see both the players in action for the Indian team as it will not only be a strong build-up but these two are currently the most talented of the lot.
The game deserves to see them in action and we hope that Rishabh makes a fiery comeback. 
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