India’s next match may still be close to two months away but the debate on who should take over as their wicket-keeper batsman after MS Dhoni’s retirement has only gathered steam with the contrasting performances of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson.
After legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara batted in favour Rishabh Pant, terming him the ‘No.1 choice’ after Dhoni, former England captain Kevin Pietersen voiced his opinion on who among Rahul, Pant and Samson should be India’s wicket-keeper in limited-overs cricket.
“When I see Sanju Samson, I see completely different. The dedication, the commitment he put into turning up for this year’s IPL, that impressed me,” said Pietersen on Star Sports.
Based on their current IPL numbers, there’s nothing to pick between Pant and Samson. In six IPL matches, both have scored 176 runs, but Pietersen explained why he thinks Samson is ahead of Pant.
“That actually got him ahead of Rishabh Pant for me, just purely from diet-base, fitness base and from dedication. He said, I want to go out there and do everything I can to play cricket for India. He’s got runs after runs. He failed a couple of times. But that dedication is what you need to get into international cricket,” said Pietersen.
Pietersen said Pant is someone who lacks consistency and disappoints more often than not and that he is yet to see any significant improvement in Pant’s batting.
“Rishabh Pant is somebody who disappoints. Because he is someone I expect so much from. And, I am yet to consistently see him giving performances with the bat day in and day out,” he added.
“In order to get that Indian tag, and to play international cricket, you need some consistencies. You need to get better. I am seeing the same player I saw a year before, and a year before, and a year before that. As long as he has been playing, he has been inconsistent,” he said.