Gambhir on Pant’s T20 World Cup Role


Gautam Gambhir suggests Rishabh Pant should be India’s primary wicketkeeper-batsman for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States. Pant’s experience in the middle-order could give him an edge over Sanju Samson, as per Gambhir. Pant’s inclusion in India’s squad is based on his strong performances in the IPL after recovering from a serious car accident in December 2022. However, the selectors have also included Samson in the squad, keeping their options open.

Gambhir, a former India batsman who played a crucial role in India’s 2007 World Cup victory, believes that only one of Pant or Samson will be in the starting XI, and whoever it is, India should fully support them. According to Gambhir, both players possess equal quality, but he leans towards Pant due to his left-handed batting and natural ability to play in the middle-order. While Samson has batted at number three in the IPL, India’s top-order is already fixed. Pant, on the other hand, has experience batting at numbers five, six, and seven, making him a suitable candidate for the middle-order wicketkeeper-batsman position. Additionally, Gambhir emphasizes the advantage of having a left-hand-right-hand batting combination in the middle-order.

Pant, who captains the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, has scored 446 runs in 13 matches during the current season, including a quickfire 33 runs off 23 balls in a recent match against the Lucknow Super Giants. Meanwhile, Samson, leading the Rajasthan Royals, has also performed impressively, amassing 486 runs in 12 games.

Gambhir acknowledges Samson’s batting prowess and suggests that if India believes Samson can score more runs batting lower down the order, they might opt for him instead. However, Gambhir reiterates his preference for Pant due to his suitability as a middle-order batsman and wicketkeeper.

The recent victory of the Delhi Capitals against the Lucknow Super Giants means that the Rajasthan Royals, captained by Samson, are guaranteed a top-four spot in the IPL standings alongside the Kolkata Knight Riders. This leaves two playoff spots up for grabs as the tournament progresses.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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