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Rishabh Pant vs Sanju Samson – Gautam Gambhir leaves no room for doubt with his preference

Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant. (Photo source: Rajasthan Royals)

Selecting a wicketkeeper to be included in the Playing XI is always a tricky task for team management. With multiple talented options vying for the role, they find themselves in a quandary. Balancing factors like form, experience, and team dynamics makes the decision even more challenging.

As Team India hones its squad for the upcoming event next month, a tough decision looms over the selection of the wicketkeeper. Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, captains of Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, respectively, present compelling cases for inclusion. Their distinct batting and wicketkeeping abilities pose a dilemma for the Indian selectors, who must weigh their strengths and weaknesses carefully to make the right choice for whom to pick as their first-choice wicketkeeper-batter.

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The standout performances of both players in IPL 2024 have left the Indian team management facing a selection conundrum. Their consistent batting displays, placing them among the top ten run-scorers of the season up until now (May 15, 2024), add to the dilemma. As the season draws to a close on Sunday, May 26, the competition for the wicketkeeper slot intensifies, underscoring the difficult decision that lies ahead for the selector.

Former Indian cricketer and current mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gautam Gambhir, in conversation with Sportskeeda, expressed his preference for Rishabh Pant over Sanju Samson, citing Pant’s versatility as a natural middle-order batter. Gambhir highlighted Pant’s batting positions at No. 5, 6, and 7 as a testament to his adaptability and suitability for the role, with Samson mainly having played one-drop for most of his career. Additionally, Gambhir emphasized the strategic advantage of Pant’s left-handed batting style in complementing the team’s overall configuration, making it challenging for bowlers to adjust their line and length. 

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 “Looking at Team India’s combination, we need the wicketkeeper in that position and not in the top order. So I’d start with Rishabh Pant. Plus, he is a left-hander in the middle order, which gives you a left hand-right hand combination,” the southpaw added.

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