IPL 2020: ‘He should be No.1’ - Brian Lara picks Dhoni’s successor among KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson
IPL 2020: Legendary West Indian cricketer Brian Lara was asked to pick MS Dhoni’s successor in the Indian limited overs sides among KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson and the stylish left-hander had an interesting take.Updated: Oct 07, 2020, 17:01 IST
Who should replace MS Dhoni as a wicket-keeper batsman in the Indian limited-overs side among KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson? It’s a question that has been doing the rounds ever since 2019 ODI World Cup, when Dhoni last donned the Indian blues. It gathered pace when the former India skipper decided to announce his retirement from international cricket in August this year.
Legendary West Indian cricketer Brian Lara was put on the hot seat with the same question and the stylish left-hander had an interesting take.
Agreeing that Rahul, Pant and Samson have been in pretty good form in the ongoing IPL 2020, Lara said if he was asked this question a year ago then his answer would have been different but now he feels Delhi Capitals wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant is the No.1 contender to take Dhoni’s spot in the Indian side.
Lara spoke about how Pant has matured and now wants to take responsibility of building the innings in the middle overs.
“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 hasn’t taken this IPL by storm but he has been one of the most consistent performers so far. In the 5 matches that he has played for Delhi Capitals, only once has Pant not managed to cross the 30-run mark. His average of 42.75 this year is the second-best in his IPL’s career.
Speaking about Rahul, who had taken over Pant as India’s wicket-keeper batsman towards the latter half of 2019, Lara said he shouldn’t be burdened with wicket-keeping.
“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 said.
With a century and two fifties, KXIP captain Rahul is sitting comfortably with the orange cap on his head.
Lara also had high-praise for Sanju Samson but said there is a chink in his armoury against quality bowling, possibly highlighting his weakness against the short-pitched balls.
“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.