rishabh pant

Gautam Gambhir’s analysis favoured Rishabh Pant over Sanju Samson for India’s T20 World Cup wicketkeeper-batter due to Pant’s suitability in the middle-order batting position.

Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant, thanks to their stellar performances in the ongoing IPL 2024, have earned spots in India’s T20 World Cup squad heading to the USA and the Caribbean. While Samson has led the Rajasthan Royals to success and impressed with the bat, Pant has made a strong comeback after an injury layoff, leading the Delhi Capitals.

Both batters are keen to take up the wicketkeeper’s slot in the playing XI. Samson, batting at number 3 for RR, has amassed 486 runs at a strike rate of 158.31 in 12 matches. Pant, a middle-order batter, has scored 446 runs in 13 matches with a strike rate of 155.40.

Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes Pant has a slight edge due to his natural middle-order batting position, which is where India might need their wicketkeeper-batter in the World Cup.

“Both have equal quality. Sanju has amazing quality, and even Rishabh has amazing quality. If I had to pick, I’d probably pick Rishabh Pant because he is a natural middle-order batter. Sanju, if you see him in the IPL,  has batted at number three. Rishabh has batted at numbers five, six, and seven, I think,” said Gambhir, as quoted by Sportskeeda.

“Looking at Team India’s combination, we need the wicketkeeper in that position and not in the top order. So I’d start with Rishabh Pants. Plus, he is a left-hander in the middle order, which gives you a left-hand-right-hand combination,” Gambhir added.

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However, Gambhir acknowledged that if India values Samson’s finishing abilities, he could overshadow Pant. “But again, if they believe Sanju can score more runs at number six or seven, they could go with him as well,” he said.

Though both players are performing exceptionally well in the IPL, Gambhir believes that both of them together cannot find a place in the playing XI. “I don’t think so. I think only one out of those two will play, and whoever plays, the team management should back him. If Rishabh Pant or Sanju Samson do not perform in one or two matches, do not criticise them or say that they should replace them. Whoever plays, I think we should back that player,” Gambhir concluded.



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Last Updated on May 15, 2024