Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket in August this year and questions about a suitable replacement for the wicket-keeping batsman has been doing the rounds ever since.
While it is not wrong to believe that no one would match Thala, there are a few youngsters who have shown their brilliance in that respective field, specially in the ongoing 13th edition of the Indian Premier League.
KL Rahul of Kings XI Punjab, Rishabh Pant of Delhi Capitals and Sanju Samson of Rajasthan Royals are a few wicket-keeping batsmen who are favourites as Dhoni's replacement.
Legendary West Indian cricketer Brian Lara dropped in to provide his take on the discussion. The former cricketer agrees that Rahul, Pant and Samson have put up an incredible performance but if he were to choose between the three, he went ahead with Pant, saying he is the No. 1 to take Dhoni's spot.
“Rishabh Pant a year ago, I would say no, but I feel that he has stepped up in terms of his responsibility as a batsman. Look at how he plays for Delhi Capitals, it looks like he wants that responsibility, he wants that onus on him to score runs, build an innings and get big scores. If he continues that way, I think that he should the No. 1,” Lara said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.
Pant has no doubt been one of the most consistent players so far in the IPL. He holds the average of 42.75 which is his second-best in his IPL career.
On Rahul, Lara feels the 28-year-old should not be bother with wicket-keeping for India.
“Well, first of all I would like to say that KL Rahul should not be bothered with wicketkeeping when it comes to that Indian squad. He’s such a great batsman that I feel that he should concentrate on that and put in a lot of runs on the board,” Lara opined on Punjab skipper Rahul, who holds the Orange Cap for most runs in IPL 2020 so far.
Meanwhile, Samson also received high-praise from the West Indian but his weakness against short-pitched balls was highlighted by Lara.
“Sanju Samson, who is not ’keeping for Rajasthan Royals, but I do understand that he keeps, that’s one of his main jobs – very classy player, looks good so far in the tournament in Sharjah. I feel there’s a little chink in his armoury in terms of his technique against very good bowling on sporty tracks,” Lara added.