Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir reckons that KL Rahul can play in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final against Australia as a specialist batter but not as a wicketkeeper. While many experts have batted for Rahul’s inclusion in India’s squad for the WTC final as a wicketkeeper, Gambhir is not in favor of the idea and instead wants the Indian team management to support KS Bharat for the role. Gambhir said that the Indian team should use a specialist wicketkeeper rather than a ‘part-time’ wicketkeeper.
During a recent chat on Sports Tak, Gautam Gambhir said, “You should always go with a special wicketkeeper. England is a tough place to keep, where you can’t go with a part-time wicketkeeper. If you want to pick KL Rahul for the WTC final, then play him purely as a batsman.”
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Without naming anyone, Gautam Gambhir slammed Bharat’s detractors, saying they should examine their own records before passing judgment on his wicketkeeping. Bharat played all four Tests for India against Australia during the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy but failed to impress with his batting, prompting many pundits to question his place in the side.
Explaining the same, Gautam Gambhir said, “In four matches, we concluded that KS Bharat’s batting and keeping are not up to the mark. In those four matches, our top-order batsmen also failed to score; we must keep that in mind. Those former players who are questioning Bharat must check their own records. The longer runs they have gotten despite not being able to perform. In Test cricket, you should always play a proper keeper.”
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He further elaborated, “A wicketkeeper can drop catches, but he can also take some stunning catches as well. Ex-cricketers should know the importance of keeping in Test cricket. One dropped catch can change the Test match. If a keeper drops a catch, you know that he is a regular keeper, but if a part-time keeper drops a catch, you will keep scratching your head the entire five days that, oh, we should have played a proper wicketkeeper.”