KL Rahul, who will be donning the gloves in the limited-over games against Australia, has described MS Dhoni as irreplaceable but has asserted that he will try his best to lend a hand to the spinners from behind the wickets. Rahul further spoke of his long-term future in the side as a keeper.
For a decade and a half, team India were spoilt by the presence of MS Dhoni who, apart from taking catches, inflicting stumpings and scoring a ton of runs, marshalled the spinners from behind the wickets. A god-gifted reader of wickets, Dhoni almost always dictated and spoon-fed spinners as to which lines and lengths to bowl, and he established an unbreakable bond with the likes of Ashwin, Jadeja, Kuldeep and Chahal, all of whom thrived when the Jharkhand lad kept wickets.
Come the Australia series, India will not have Dhoni, but instead behind the wickets will be KL Rahul, who himself knows a thing or two about controlling spinners from behind, having done the same with the likes of Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin in Kings XI Punjab.
Speaking in the presser ahead of the first ODI in Sydney, Rahul claimed that he was hopeful of guiding the spinners from behind the wickets, like Dhoni who, according to him, is irreplaceable.
"Look, obviously nobody can fill the place of MS Dhoni, he has shown the way to the wicket-keeper batsman on how to do the role perfectly, I think I will probably go and give the spinners the feedback regarding what length can be bowled on different wickets,” Rahul said in the press conference.
“Wicket-keepers have this responsibility, and I have done this job in one series in New Zealand, so hopefully, I can do the same going ahead.”
After being used as a backup keeper in the Australia series in January owing to a concussion to incumbent Rishabh Pant, Rahul was seen as a temporary makeshift but the 28-year-old has, remarkably, since, made the ‘keeper-batsman’ role his own, thriving both with the bat and the gloves. So much so that he is now being seen by the management as the first-choice in both ODIs and T20Is.
But despite the management hinting that Rahul might continue to keep wickets in the long-run, the Karnataka batsman played the situation down and claimed that team India are, currently, not looking too far ahead into the future.
"Nothing has been told to me, we as a team are not thinking that far ahead, World Cups are important, that is the long vision for every team but I think for me, we are still taking it one game at a time, and if I keep putting consistent performances as a keeper and batsman, it gives us the choice of playing an extra batter or bowler. If I can keep in the coming three World Cups, I would love to do it for my country.”
The first ODI between India and Australia will kick off at the SCG on Friday, November 27.