KL Rahul the ‘apt replacement’ for MS Dhoni – Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir has preferred what he has seen of KL Rahul as a wicketkeeper-batsman in white-ball cricket. The former India opener reckons Rahul is the “apt replacement” for MS Dhoni in the shorter codecs, notably in T20 cricket, going ahead.

Dhoni, 38, hasn’t performed any critical cricket since India’s semi-final exit from the ODI World Cup in July 2019, following which Rishabh Pant after which Rahul have taken over preserving duties in white-ball cricket. IPL 2020 was broadly seen as the one alternative Dhoni needed to make a bid for a global comeback earlier than the T20 World Cup – scheduled for October-November 2020 in Australia – with India coach Ravi Shastri saying as much on more than one occasion.

With the Covid-19 pandemic doubtlessly ruling out any IPL motion this 12 months, the door would possibly simply be shutting on Dhoni. Gambhir actually thinks so.

“If the IPL does not happen this year, then it will become very difficult for MS Dhoni to make a comeback,” Gambhir stated, talking on Star Sports Cricket Connected. “On what foundation can he be chosen since he is not been taking part in for the final one or one and a half years.

“The apt alternative for Dhoni might be KL Rahul. Ever since he has donned the keeper’s gloves in white-ball cricket, I’ve seen his efficiency, each batting and preserving. Obviously his preserving is inferior to Dhoni’s, however if you’re T20 cricket, Rahul’s a utility participant, can maintain and bat at No. three or 4.

“If the IPL does not happen, then MS Dhoni’s chances for a comeback look dim. Ultimately, you are representing India, so whoever dishes out the best performance and can win the match for India should play for the team. As far as his retirement plans go by, that’s his personal choice.”

Since taking on as India’s white-ball keeper – quickly at first, filling in for a concussed Pant, after which regularly – Rahul’s returns have been phenomenal. In ODIs, he is scored 303 runs in 5 innings at an average of 75.75 and a strike fee of 114.77, whereas batting principally at No. 5. Opening the batting in T20Is, he is scored 224 runs at a mean of 56.00 and a strike rate of 144.51.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra, in the meantime, has prompt that Dhoni, who has been close to-invisible in the media for some time now, may need unofficially retired from worldwide cricket. Rather than being dropped after the 50-over World Cup, Chopra feels Dhoni made himself unavailable for choice.

“MS Dhoni has not told anyone anything,” Chopra stated on his YouTube present Cricket Aakash. “He has a unique story. What virtually everybody assume is that he would possibly return to the Indian staff if he performs effectively in the IPL. But I personally really feel he performed his ultimate match for India at Manchester in opposition to New Zealand.

“Since then, he has not made himself available to the team. He has not been dropped. I feel he has made up his mind that he is no longer going to play for India.”

Rather than exit with an official announcement or a farewell sport, Chopra believes Dhoni merely determined to stroll away with no fuss, and can solely play for India once more if he is persuaded to by India’s staff administration or the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.

“Unless, of course, Sourav Ganguly, Virat Kohli or Ravi Shastri pick up the phone and tell Dhoni to help the team out in the T20 World Cup. If they tell Dhoni that they want him to play the World Cup, then there is a chance he could return,” Chopra stated. “Otherwise, in my opinion, Dhoni has made up his mind that ‘I am not going to play, I don’t need a farewell match. I came quietly, I will leave quietly’. He doesn’t need grandstanding. He is not that kind of player. He doesn’t want any noise. If the T20 World Cup gets pushed, then I don’t think you will see Dhoni in India’s blue jersey.”

Whether Dhoni performs for India once more or not, former India batsman VVS Laxman believes Dhoni will proceed to play and carry out for Chennai Super Kings for “the next couple of IPLs”.

“I think playing for CSK will keep him going because he’s supremely fit and age is just a number, and especially when someone like MS Dhoni is not only physically fit, but mentally very astute as a captain, as a leader he enjoys leading the CSK franchise,” Laxman stated in the similar present. “He’s been very profitable doing that and so far as Dhoni’s cricket is worried, I’m positive you are trying ahead to look at him play in the IPL. Not solely this IPL, he’ll in all probability play in the subsequent couple of IPLs, after which we’ll take a name about his future as a cricketer.

“But I think MS Dhoni will be very clear, as far as his plans are concerned, I’m sure he must have communicated that with [India captain] Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri immediately after the 2019 World Cup in England. The new selection committee will have to sit down with MS Dhoni and understand his future, as far as Indian cricket is concerned. But MS Dhoni will continue to play for CSK and do well for CSK.”

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