Former Indian wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer has backed KL Rahul to continue as the keeper for the side in the white-ball formats. However, Rahul kept wickets for India in last year’s ODI World Cup and the following 50-over series against South Africa as well. He also continued behind the stumps for the South Africa Tests after Ishan Kishan pulled out a few days before the game as well. However, the team management decided against Rahul keeping wickets in the Test format and played him as a specialist batter in the first Test of the ongoing series against England as well.
In an interaction after his felicitation at the Bombay Gymkhana, Engineer said: “For a One-Day or T20 game, you could play with a batsman-keeper and get away with it. You know, like KL Rahul. He has improved over the years. He kept wickets quite well. He is not a brilliant wicketkeeper. But what a great, brilliant batsman he is. He is definitely worth his weight in platinum to be in the side and keep wickets. But (for Tests) You got to have your best wicketkeeper. You got to have wicketkeeper-batsman instead of a batsman-wicketkeeper. Of course, everyone is required to bat these days. In the opinion of selectors, Bharat is a better ‘keeper, is he?”
However, KL Rahul is currently recovering from a quadriceps injury and he was ruled out of the ongoing second Test against England at Vizag as well. Meanwhile, KS Bharat has kept wickets for India in the series so far, with youngster Dhruv Jurel as the backup option in the team as well. Meanwhile, Farokh Engineer opined on certain areas of improvement for KS Bharat behind the stumps as well.
“There are a few areas that I can (think of) straightaway. But you don’t like to tell them, in case they think you are trying to be big-headed. If he just rises slowly, I would prefer that. Once you get up quickly, it is difficult to go down again and you waste that fraction of a second. But if you get up gradually with the ball, then you are… things have got to be ironed out. But (then) he is the best around,” he concluded.