KL Rahul might have emerged as the front-runner to keep wicket for India in this year’s T20 World Cup, but Parthiv Patel feels that the 28-year-old is just a stop-gap arrangement for India in white-ball cricket.
Rahul, who occasionally dons the keeping gloves, acted as India’s designated wicketkeeper for five ODIs and as many T20Is, against Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. According to veteran wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, Rahul fits well in India’s plans if the World Cup is the only focus for now.
“I feel Rahul is your short-term thing in a way if you’re thinking of the World Cup,” said Patel on Lockdown But Not Out. “I think he’ll do the job for you during the World Cup, there’s no doubt about it.”
Rahul pipped the highly-rated and much younger Rishabh Pant to the spot during India’s tour of Australia and New Zealand, after replacing him as a concussion substitute. With MS Dhoni currently enjoying an indefinite break, Pant was expected to take up the gloves, but Rahul’s batting form has managed to gain him captain Virat Kohli’s confidence. Parthiv Patel, who himself holds the record for being India’s youngest-ever Test wicketkeeper, urged Pant to fall back to domestic cricket, and not be bogged down by the incessant scrutiny around him.
“Rishabh Pant definitely has it in him, there’s no doubt about that,” Parthiv said. “If I put myself into his shoes when I was 17-18, I didn’t have a good series, and going back to domestic cricket for a couple of years helped me a lot.
“Every time I’ve met Rishabh, I’ve always told him that people are talking about you because you’ve talent in you.
“If you had no talent and if you weren’t talented, people wouldn’t have been talking about you, so keep that in mind. Sometimes, you have to go back to domestic cricket and just get that form back,” he said.