Team India head coach Rahul Dravid made a special mention of MS Dhoni, as the legendary cricketer talked about how the Men in Blue are fortunate to have many talented wicketkeepers to choose from.
Dravid, who also kept wickets for India himself, stated that the era of having a pure wicketkeeper has passed, particularly since the legendary wicketkeeper-batter came onto the scene.
The Indian coach further cited the examples of Sanju Samson, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, and KS Bharat from the current crop of players who fall in the category of wicket-keeper batters that the modern game needs.
Rahul Dravid said in a press conference in Indore before the 3rd ODI between India and New Zealand: “We always looking for a wicketkeeper-batsman, there is no question about it. I think since there has been MS Dhoni, in white-ball cricket, the days of specialist wicketkeepers are gone unfortunately.”
He added, “We are lucky and we are fortunate that all of the guys who are in contention, even in this team you know whether it's Ishan Kishan or KS Bharat are both good batsmen and have done well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Bharat hasn't played but Ishan has obviously done well as a batsman.”
Dravid believes that being just a wicketkeeper isn't enough in the modern era.
He further explained, “There is Rahul there, Samson is there, but unfortunately, Rishabh is injured. All of these guys are wicketkeeper-batsmen. I think today, you have to be a wicketkeeper-batsman.”
The coach signed off by saying, “You should be able to bat and contribute significantly. We have also picked up Jitesh Sharma in the T20 mix because of his ability to bat and score runs at a very quick pace as he has shown in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy and in the IPL that he has played. So, yeah it's given now that all teams need a wicketkeeper-batsman.”
(With NDTV Inputs)