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Who should be India’s wicket-keeper batsman in limited-overs format? It is a question that has been the focal point of all the discussion in the recent past. Should it be the in-form KL Rahul who had grabbed his opportunities with both hands in the series against Australia or should it be the under-fire Rishabh Pant? When the same question was asked to KL Rahul, the Karnataka batsman was clueless.
Meanwhile, Rahul was able to grab his chance after Rishabh Pant was hit on the head by a bumper from Pat Cummins in the first ODI at Mumbai. Pant was ruled out of the second ODI and he was not selected in the third despite been fit as Rahul had scored a match-winning 52-ball 80 in the second match. Consequently, Indian captain, Virat Kohli made it clear the KL Rahul will be the first choice keeper in both the white-ball formats.
Rahul has grabbed his chance.
Rahul once again has strengthened his case as he scored a fine knock of 56 runs off just 27 balls in the first T20I against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland on Friday.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 24, 2020
When KL Rahul was asked by a journalist -“Do you see Pant coming back into the side and playing in this series?”, the Indian opener looked perplexed. The final XI is generally decided by the captain and the team management.
Rahul replied, “It’s not up to me, I mean…”
On the other hand, Rahul has looked quite confident with the gloves. The keeper said he is relishing the challenge to keep the wickets and he has kept the wickets whenever there has been an opportunity.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 24, 2020
“I’m quite honestly loving it. At the international stage, it might seem very new and it might seem like I’ve never kept. (But) I’ve kept for my IPL franchise for the last 3-4 years, and I’ve kept for my first-class team as and when there is an opening. I’ve still stayed in touch with wicket keeping.
“I enjoy staying behind the stumps and it also gives me a great idea about how the pitch is playing, and I can pass on that message to the bowlers and the captains with field-sets and everything. As a keeper, that’s also your responsibility to stay active and pass the message on to your captain as to what lengths are better and what I feel we can do better,” he added.
Rahul added a crucial alliance of 99 runs with skipper Virat Kohli and laid down the foundation of the run chase of 204 runs. The second T20I will take place on 26th January 2019 at the same venue in Eden Park, Auckland.