Who Will Become The Wicketkeeper Of India – T20 World Cup

T20 World Cup 2024: Who will become the wicketkeeper of India? Analysing the best performances

The battle for the spot of wicketkeeper in Team India’s squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 is warming up as these five players namely  KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan and Jitesh Sharma are the top contenders. Surprisingly, Dinesh Karthik also joins the list with his impressive performance in IPL 2024, which poses a new challenge to the selection committee managed by Ajit Agarkar.

Earlier, the IPL was supposed to be the perfect platform to answer questions about the player’s selection for big tournaments. Rather, the suspense and confusion still continue as the race among the best players seems to be endless.

Since more than half of the ongoing IPL season has been completed, it is a perfect moment to scrutinize the performances of wicketkeeper and the runs scored by them as a batter in the tournament. This involves figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of top performers of the IPL 2024 in detail…

Team India’s Wicketkeeper for T20 World Cup 2024

Let us look at the strengths and weaknesses of these six wicketkeeper and their chances to be a part of Team India’s squad for the T20 World Cup 2024:

1. Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals):

As a talented left-handed batter and wicketkeeper, Rishabh Pant, the Delhi Capitals skipper is the prime choice for the selectors. He scored 342 runs in 9 innings of IPL 2024 at an average of 48.9 and 161.3 strike rate. After recovering from a horrific car accident, the 26-year-old batter aims to make a comeback into the T20Is, by scoring three half-centuries in the tournament so far.

Most importantly, the batting line-up of the Indian cricket team consists of a majority of right-handed batters and Pant’s fearless batting style in the middle order in pressurized situations can add a new dimension to the squad.

Although Pant seems to be a promising choice, his poor average of 22 and strike rate of 126 in 66 T20I matches highlights his struggle in the shortest format. Consequently, it might force the selectors to drop him from the T20 World Cup squad.

2. Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals):

Sanju Samson started the ongoing IPL season on a high note and led his team Rajasthan Royals from the front by scoring an unbeaten 82 runs against the Lucknow Super Giants. By scoring 314 runs in 8 innings at an average of 62.8 and strike rate of 152.4, Sanju Samson grabs the selectors’ attention by scoring 3 half-centuries in the tournament.

Despite, Sanju being in his peak form, his scores aren’t been impressive in the T20Is. Moreover, he lacks consistency with the Indian cricket team when compared to Rishabh. Another drawback, the selectors could observe is that the 29-year-old right-handed batsman has performed well in the top three positions for his franchise and those positions are already secured by the other batters in the Indian team.

3. KL Rahul (Lucknow Super Giants):

Compared to the previous seasons, KL Rahul as the skipper and opening batter of Lucknow Super Giants has improved with his performance in IPL 2024. Also, he has batted well with a good strike rate in the first six overs of the powerplay. Out of 8 innings, the 32-year-old right-handed batter scored 302 runs at an average of 37.8 and a strike rate of 141.1.

His experience and ability to anchor the team’s innings in a classy style make him an appealing choice to the selectors. 

At the same time,Rahul’s selection seems to be tough as the top three spots in the batting order have been filled and he hasn’t proven his abilities in the current IPL season batting at the middle order. Also, his poor performance in the previous editions of the T20 World Cups will be considered by the selectors.

4. Dinesh Karthik (Royal Challengers Bengaluru):

Even after batting at the most challenging position of No.6 and No.7, and with a batting lineup that hasn’t been explosive in this IPL season, Dinesh Karthik scored 251 runs in 7 innings for Royal Challengers Bengaluru. Batting at an average of 83.7 and a strike rate of 196.1, the 38-year-old right-handed batter scored two half-centuries in the tournament so far. Hence, DK proves to the selectors that he is ready to take up the role of best finisher for his team in the T20 World Cup.

The only factor that could prevent DK from participating in the T20 World Cup is his lack of exposure to international cricket.

5. Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians):

Although Ishan Kishan as the opening batter gives an instant start to Mumbai Indians, he isn’t able to convert those into huge runs. Till now, the 25-year-old left-handed batter has scored only a half-century for his team with a batting average of just 24. Out of 8 innings, he scored 192 runs and maintained a considerable strike rate of 168.4.

In particular, Ishan’s flexibility to bat at the opening and middle-order positions helps to accumulate huge runs for his team instantly.

At the same time, his inconsistency is a huge disadvantage for his career. Most importantly, there isn’t any update about Ishan’s disputation with BCCI and if these issues persist with the management, it would become difficult for him to take part in the T20 World Cup. 

6. Jitesh Sharma (Punjab Kings):

The high-risk batting from Jitesh Sharma at the lower order for Punjab Kings hasn’t yielded huge gains for him. He scored just 129 runs in 9 innings at an average of 16.0 and a strike rate of 125.5.

However, the 30-year-old right-handed batter’s value still remains for his clear six-hitting abilities and a few good performances in the upcoming matches could change his fortunes.

Virat Kohli Asks For Clarity On T20 World Cup Spot With BCCI

Conclusion:

Mainly, there isn’t much time left for the selection committee as BCCI needs to submit the list of T20WC 2024 squad to the ICC by 1st May. As a result, the perfect choice behind the stumps continues to be the most challenging question for the national selectors.

Based on the current performance in the IPL 2024 season, Rishabh Pant has a maximum advantage of getting selected compared to other top-performing wicketkeeper listed above. It would be tough for the selectors to ignore Pant and other players.

Ultimately, the selectors face the most challenging phase to fit all the deserving candidates perfectly into the team to win the T20 World Cup 2024.

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