IPL 2020 will see MS Dhoni And Rishabh Pant play at least in next two IPLs in 2020 and 2021 respectively, to make it to the Indian squad — for 2021 T20 World Cup, according to Sanjay Manjrekar. Since MS Dhoni’s last international match in the 2019 World Cup, the Indian team has failed to find a reliable wicket-keeper batsman.
Sanjay Manjrekar, a cricketer-turned-commentator, reckons that both of them will fight to secure a spot in the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup to be held in India.
Veteran MS Dhoni aged 39 is at the last stage of his career whereas Rishabh Pant is fighting to secure a permanent place in the T20I squad after several failures.
IPL 2020 And 2021: MS Dhoni And Rishabh Pant Must Perform: Sanjay Manjrekar
Rishabh Pant made his T20I debut in 2017, but his inconsistency with the bat – has not helped his cause whereas MS Dhoni has not played any competitive cricket for more than a year.
But, he is experienced enough and may be seen in Indian colours yet again. The 55-year-old Sanjay Manjrekar felt that IPL 2020 will be crucial for them, to cement their place in Indian team before the T20I World Cup, next year.
“The last time we saw the Indian T20 team it looked a certain way but there is going to be at least 2 IPLs I think before the next T20 World Cup. So, you will have a lot of these performances coming and changing the dynamics a little bit,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying on Star Sports ‘Cricket Connected’.
MS Dhoni captains his franchise Chennai Super Kings from the inaugural season of Indian Premier League in 2008, whereas KL Rahul captains Kings XI Punjab and Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson plays for Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
IPL 2020: KL Rahul Is Certainty, Rishabh Pant And Sanju Samson Enigmatic: Sanjay Manjrekar
Apart from back up wicket-keeper batsman KL Rahul who is certainly in the squad, the next two editions of IPL will give both MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant to showcase their talents.
“People who feel cemented or established in the team, will all be challenged. It will be wonderful to watch people like Rahul who at the moment looks a certainty,” he stated. “Rishabh Pant gets 2 IPLs to stake a claim, Dhoni will be playing 2 IPLs. So, it will be fun,” Manjrekar said.
Sanju Samson is also fighting for a spot as wicket-keeper in T20I side but has played in only 4 T20 Internationals managing only 35 runs so far at an average of 8.75. But in IPL, he has already scored two centuries.
“People like Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, for me as an analyst watching the players and trying to make an assessment, sometimes predictions go right or wrong, they are both slightly enigmatic for me,” he added.
Sanjay Manjrekar called Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson enigmatic. Samson is also vying for a spot and played in the New Zealand tour earlier this year where he failed with the bat.