New Delhi: Legendary West Indies cricketer Brian Lara believes KL Rahul is a “great batsman” and that’s why he should concentrate on his batting and not bother about wicketkeeping when it comes to the Indian team.
Rahul, who is currently leading Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, has scored 302 runs — including one hundred and two half-centuries — in five matches so far.
“Well, first of all I would like to say that KL Rahul should not be bothered with wicketkeeping when it comes to that Indian squad. He’s such a great batsman that I feel that he should concentrate on that and put in a lot of runs on the board,” Lara said while speaking on Star Sports Cricket Connected show.
According to the former West Indies captain, Rishabh Pant is the number one choice to replace MS Dhoni behind the stumps in the Indian team.
Pant has been in good form in the ongoing tournament, scoring 171 runs in the five matches he has played so far for the Delhi Capitals.
“Rishabh Pant a year ago, I would say no, but I feel that he has stepped up in terms of his responsibility as a batsman. Look at how he plays for Delhi Capitals, it looks like he wants that responsibility, he wants that onus on him to score runs, build an innings and get big scores,” said Lara. “If he continues that way, I think that he should the number one,” he added.
Dhoni retired from international cricket in August after representing India in 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20Is while affecting a staggering 829 dismissals behind the stumps across formats.
Pant — who has so far played 13 Tests, 16 ODIs and 28 T20Is — was touted as Dhoni’s successor but he hasn’t been able to put up consistent performances when playing for the national side. He was replaced behind the stumps, in limited-overs formats, in New Zealand by Rahul when the Men in Blue last played international cricket.