‘If Rishabh Pant is Fit on Even one Leg, He Should Come in the Team’: Gavaskar

Written by Abhishek Patil

Team India gears up for the Afghanistan T20Is which is going to be the last bilateral series for the men in blue before the T20 World Cup 2024, in the West Indies and the United States. While Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are back to the three-match series, the selectors picked up Jitesh Sharma and Sanju Samson as wicketkeepers in the squad while the likes of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan were rested.

The Afghanistan series, followed by the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, will give the selectors an idea about picking the right bunch of 15 players for the showpiece event in the West. But having the best couple of keeper-batters onboard will definitely a big challenge.

There are several players already in the fray, pushing their case for a World Cup berth. Amid the intense competition, Rishabh Pant will also try to make a move as he’s planning to return to the IPL and lead Delhi Capitals. Though he is still recovering from the injuries he suffered in the car crash in 2022 and there’s no clarity about his role other than leading the side, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels the youngster should reclaim his spot in the Indian squad.

Speaking on Star Sports, Gavaskar said Pant should try and return to the Indian side as he could be the ‘game changer’.

“I see him Rahul as a wicketkeeper as well but I will say one thing before that – if Rishabh Pant is fit on even one leg, he should come in the team because he is a game-changer in every format. If I am the selector, I will put his name first,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

“However, if Rishabh Pant is unavailable and KL Rahul keeps wickets, it will be good because the balance will also get created. Then you have the option to play him as an opener or use him in the middle order as a finisher at No. 5 or No. 6,” he added.

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Abhishek Patil