India vs New Zealand: ‘If you need a finisher...’ - Sunil Gavaskar speaks out on KL Rahul-Rishabh Pant debate
Former captain Sunil Gavaskar has weighed into the raging debate regarding the wicket-keeping role in the Indian cricket team. KL Rahul did well with both bat and glouves in the recenlty-concluded ODI series against Australia after taking up wicket-keeping duties from Rishabh Pant. However, Gavaskar believes India should persist with Pant as he provides more balance to the team, considering he is a southpaw. Also, Gavaskar is of the opinion that Pant can take up the role of a finisher at number 6.
“I will go with Rishabh Pant in the limited-overs cricket. If you need a finisher at No. 6 then Rishabh Pant can do that for the team,” Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.
“Also he is a left-handed batsman, so considering the Indian batting line-up where we have only one left-handed batsman in form of Shikhar Dhawan, so if we have another southpaw in top-order then it will be beneficial for the team. So I will go with Rishabh Pant,” he added.
Another former opener Virender Sehwag, however, doesn’t agree with Gavaskar as he feels the team management should continue with Rahul after doing well with the bat, despite taking up this new role in ODI cricket.
“If K.L. Rahul fails four times batting at No. 5, the current Indian team management will look to change his slot. However, same wasn’t the case with Dhoni, who knew how important it is to back players at such positions, having himself gone through the hard grind,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
India’s T20I Squad vs New Zealand: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur