The hottest topic of the cricket world right now is the wicket-keeping dilemma prevailing in the Indian cricket team. MS Dhoni is on a hiatus while Rishabh Pant could not live up to the expectations in the many opportunities that he received.
Pant has already lost his place in the Test team to Wriddhiman Saha and he is on the verge of losing his place in the other formats to the upcoming star Sanju Samson. The right-handed batsman had made it to the playing XI of the Indian team after a gap of 5 years and, he hit a six on the first ball he faced. Although he did not do anything wrong, the selectors dropped him for the series against New Zealand.
While a majority of the fans want to have Samson in the T20I team, here’s why Pant should be preferred ahead of him for the T20 World Cup:
1. Provides the left-hand right-hand combination
If the fans have a closer look at the batting line-up of the Indian team, they will learn that the Men in Blue have more right-hand batters in the team. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer are all right-handed batsmen with Shikhar Dhawan being the only left-hander.
Also, Shivam Dube may lose his place to the right-handed Hardik Pandya when the Baroda-born all-rounder recovers to full fitness. If the Indian team management prefers to have Sanju Samson in the team, they will have six right-handed batsmen and only one left-hander.
The opposition bowlers would not find any extra difficulty in bowling to the Indian team especially in the slog overs. The left-handed Rishabh Pant can bring more variety to the batting lineup of the Indian side hence, he should be present in the team.
2. Sanju Samson is a typical Top-4 batsman
The advantage of having Rishabh Pant in the team is that the Delhi-born player can bat at any position. If the openers have done well, the team management can send him to bat at number 3 where he can take advantage of the platform set.
If the openers fail, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer can come out to bat at their respective positions and then Pant can finish off the innings at number 5. In case Virat plays well at number 3, then Pant can come out to bat at the No.4 position.
The same cannot happen with Sanju Samson. He is a typical Top 4 batsman who may not fare well if sent out to bat at the number 5 or 6 position. Since, India already have a similar type of player in the form of Shreyas Iyer they should not waste a spot by including Samson in the side.
3. Experience of playing top-tier bowlers in Australia
The key aspect that the selectors will take into the consideration is the ability of the players to do well in Australian conditions. The pitches in Australia are much more favourable to the pacers than the Indian wickets. Thus, the batsmen who tackle the fast bowlers well can perform well Down Under.
Sanju Samson has very little experience of playing international cricket let aside playing international cricket in Australian conditions. On the other hand, Rishabh Pant has scored a Test century in Australia against a top tier Australian bowling attack.
Besides, the selectors would not want to let all the matches that Pant played go in vain without giving him a place in the ICC T20 World Cup squad. The left-handed batsman had played for India in the ICC World Cup 2019 so he has got the experience of playing in an ICC tournament. Expect him to steal the show in Australia in October.
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