Rishabh Pant made a comeback to the Indian T20 side while another dynamic left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan earned his maiden call-up as India decided to leave out Sanju Samson for the five-match T20 series against England starting on March 12.
Pant’s re-entry in the shortest format and Kishan’s arrival means Virat Kohli will be spoilt for choices while selecting the wicketkeeper-batsman for India in the first T20I at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. Former India opener Aakash Chopra believes India should start with Pant as the specialist keeper-batsman and release Rahul from the keeping duties.
“Rishabh Pant has made a comeback and I think he will play. You should play him in T20s, let him keep wickets instead of KL Rahul. It’ll be good for the team,” said Chopra in his YouTube channel.
Rahul has been keeping wickets in ODIs and T20Is ever since Pant lost his place in the XI after suffering a concussion during an ODI against Australia towards the end of 2019.
The right-hander has been doing a great job both with bat and gloves with India preferring him as keeper despite including Samson in a few T20s in between.
Pant’s return to the T20I side after stellar performances in Test cricket, however, makes matters interesting. Considering the fact that Pant is not among the most agile fielders and Rahul exactly the opposite, it might not be a bad idea to again go back to a specialist keeper for the England T20s.
Ishan Kishan is waiting in the wings too. The Jharkhand cricketer, who was Pant’s captain in the U19 World Cup in 2016, earned his maiden call-up in the India T20I side on the back of some consistent performances in the domestic circuit and the IPL.
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“Ishan Kishan’s performance has been brilliant. He has been scoring runs consistently and if we talk about IPL 2020 then he overshadowed some of the big names of Mumbai Indians. Hit big sixes against some of the best like Anrich Nortje, Rabada and batted beautifully,” Chopra said.
Two more cricketers – Suryakumar Yadav and Rahul Tewaita – earned their maiden call-ups for the England series.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepack Chahar made a comeback to lead the pace department as the selectors decided to rest Jasprit Bumrah and not to hurry Mohammed Shami after the pacer recently recovered from a fracture.
Input: Hindustan times
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