Friday, January 19, 2024

T20 World Cup: Competition intensifies for an Indian wicketkeeper spot


BENGALURU: Since MS Dhoni's retirement in 2019, the Indian wicketkeeper's space has been a round of a game of seat juggling. Since Jan last year, India have fundamentally attempted three men behind the stumps - Jitesh Sharma, Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan in T20Is. With the T20 World Cup planned for June, the race for the wicketkeeper's space is building up speed.

Over the most recent a year, Ishan Kishan has figured in the most T20Is — 11 matches — while both Samson (9) and Jitesh (9) have been given open doors to feature their abilities with the bat and behind the stumps.

In any case, since Nov, the group the executives has shown more confidence in Jitesh, who has likewise been India's best option in the last two series against South Africa and Afghanistan. With the bat, Jitesh's best has been a 19-ball 35 against Australia in the fourth T20I last month.

IN THE Fight: As a wicketkeeper who can also score runs in the lower middle order, Jitesh Sharma (left) has gained popularity. Ishan, a southpaw, has mostly been used at the top of the order, and he scored two half-centuries against Australia in November. However, with the arrival of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the T20I overlap, opening Ishan in the top request looks extreme. In correlation, Sanju and Jitesh have highlighted in the center request, with the last option being involved more as a finisher.

Rahul Dravid, the head coach of India, is pleased with the available options and has even included the contenders for KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. The last option is recuperating at the NCA here in the wake of experiencing a terrible mishap in late 2022.

We have a few choices for wicketkeepers. Every one of them are in the blend. We have seen Sanju and Jitesh (in the India-Afghanistan series). We additionally have Rahul, Kishan and Rishabh. We simply have to perceive how it works out in the following couple of months and accept an approach what is the most ideal way forward," expressed Dravid at the post-match meeting after India's series win against Afghanistan.

Dravid's accentuation on "following couple of months" makes it obvious that the presentation of these players in the IPL will be firmly observed by the group the board prior to settling on their ultimate choice on the wicketkeeper.

In the event that Gasp plays in the IPL, the spotlight will likewise be on his wellness as he has not played serious cricket since Dec 2022.


With India not playing any T20Is prior to going to the US and Caribbean, the IPL will assume a key part in deciding the group structure for the World Cup. Additionally, it is not limited to wicketkeepers. Any semblance of Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Tilak Varma also will be firmly watched.

"It's ideal to see that there are a few choices (in front of the T20 World Cup) who have put their hand up, and positively shown that they have abilities to address."

"(There are) a few regions that we could require some tending to in, and we were mulling over everything. However, tragically, we truly will not have a lot of cricket as a group any longer. We will clearly have the IPL and everybody will observe near perceive how a portion of those folks play and what are the spaces we really want to fill in the group," Dravid said.

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