IPL 2021: VVS Laxman picks Rishabh Pant over Sanju Samson and KL Rahul as first-choice wicket-keeper for THIS reason | Cricket News

Rishabh Pant has been in imperious form and has also been shining in his new role as the Delhi Capitals skipper. Under the new leadership, the IPL franchise have so far won three out of the four matches and currently stand third on the eight-team points table. 

Pant, who has already scored a fifty in the ongoing edition of IPL, has been enjoying a great outing with the bat and his contribution to the side both in Australia and England series proved to be a major boost for Team India.  

While many heaped praises about the young wicketkeeper-batsman, former India cricketer VVS Laxman feels that the 23-year-old should be the team’s first choice wicketkeeper going into the World T20s, which is scheduled to take place in India in October-November. 

READ | Irfan Pathan, Kevin Pietersen point out Sanju Samson’s Achilles’ heel 

“India is spoilt for choices. The way Sanju Samson has batted, kept and led Rajasthan Royals (in ongoing IPL), even though he did not have too much of experience (in captaining) a side. Then there’s Ishan Kishan. KL Rahul has done well whenever he got the gloves, and batted either top of the order or in the middle. But somehow I just feel Rishabh Pant is the player whom you should pick for the wicketkeeper-batsman slot. I will definitely go for Pant.” 

“Not only that he’s really improved and impressed everyone with his keeping abilities, but as a left-handed batsman, he’s someone who can take away the game from any opposition in any situation in the middle overs,” Laxman said during the YouTube launch of a book written by Boria Majumdar at the “Tata Literature Live Sports Yatras”.

Meanwhile, he also spoke about the heavy workload and how it has become a major hurdle in the country’s hunt for an all-rounder who can be comparable to the legendary Kapil Dev. Players like Hardik Pandya have been compared with Kapil, the country’s first World Cup-winning captain. But Laxman feels it is not easy for anyone to match up with both the bat and ball given the workload.

“It’s a very difficult role being an all-rounder. Kapil paaji was someone who could take wickets and score runs. He was the ultimate match-winner for India. But with the amount of workload nowadays, it’s very, very difficult,” Laxman said 

Without naming Hardik, Laxman said: “There were some glimpses from some players, because they were focusing a lot on both the skills, ultimately with the amount of workload and matches the Indian team plays in three formats, it’s very difficult to manage. That player who has the ability to become a genuine all-rounder unfortunately gets injured and he has to compromise or he has to take a decision on either batting or bowling,” said the former India batsman.

Coming back from a lengthy layoff due to a back surgery, Hardik did not bowl for Mumbai Indians in the IPL last season in the UAE. In the ODI series against Australia, Hardik bowled five overs but did not play the ensuing Test series Down Under.

Hardik did not play in the four-match Test series against England earlier this year. He bowled in the subsequent T20I series, but did not do so in the first two ODIs against England. He returned to bowling duties in the final ODI. He has also not bowled for MI in the ongoing IPL season so far.

Laxman also said that it was “not right to compare any sort of all-rounder with the legendary Kapil”.

“I just feel that there can be only one Kapil. It (comparison) will put undue pressure on the player. There can be only one MS Dhoni, or one Sunil Gavaskar.”

– with PTI inputs 

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