Brian Lara has opined that the Indian management should not burden KL Rahul with the gloves and instead should allow him to solely focus on his batting, which makes him ‘great.’ In Rahul’s absence behind the wickets, Lara added that Rishabh Pant should be entrusted with the responsibility.
Since MS Dhoni’s exit from the national team, India’s find for a wicketkeeper has been a hunt going for the longest time. While they immediately identified Rishabh Pant as the first choice keeper, his form combined with his poor show warranted a change in the team. The selectors then entrusted KL Rahul to bat, both as a finisher at No.5 as well don the gloves in a move that bore immediate fruit.
However, with no international cricket since the turn of the year for India, combined with Pant’s resurgence, the find for the first choice keeper would continue from the scratch. Former Windies southpaw Brian Lara has opined that KL Rahul should not be burdened with gloves for India, which he believes would affect his batting, owing to extra responsibilities.
"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," Lara said on Star Sports show 'Cricket Connected'.
"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," he added.
In the IPL thus far, Rahul has donned the gloves for KXIP in most of the games, barring the CSK encounter where Nicholas Pooran took up the duties. Lara following the game also voiced out that Rishabh Pant should be made India’s first-choice keeper on the back of his brilliant IPL display with the gloves.
"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," Lara said.
"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. If he continues that way, I think that he should be the No. 1," he added.
India’s next series is against Australia Down Under, which would be of a definite test to the T20I team, which has performed highly inconsistent since the turn of last year.