Rishabh Pant or Sanju Samson? Gautam Gambhir names his first-choice wicketkeeper in India’s T20 World Cup XI

India will open their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign against Ireland in New York on June 5.

Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson | GettyFormer India opener Gautam Gambhir has shared his two cents on the debate surrounding India's first-choice wicketkeeper for the upcoming T20 World Cup, slated to be held in the West Indies and USA from June 1 to June 29.

Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson are the two designated wicketkeeper-batters feature in India’s 15-member squad picked for the marquee event.

Gambhir has called for Pant’s inclusion in the playing XI over Samson, citing two key reasons. The KKR mentor highlighted their differing batting positions in the ongoing IPL season as a crucial factor in his decision-making process.

"While Pant has batted in the middle order in IPL, Sanju has batted in the top order," Gambhir told Sportskeeda, emphasizing the need for Pant's presence in the middle order given India's established top three of Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Virat Kohli.

Moreover, Gambhir pointed out that Rishabh, being a left-hander, could bring variety to India's middle-order composition.

"Pant being a left-hander batter can bring variety to the team's middle order," he stated, advocating for the strategic advantage of a left-hand-right-hand combination.

"Looking at Team India's combination, we need the wicketkeeper in that position and not in the top order," Gambhir added.

However, Gautam Gambhir also acknowledged Samson’s quality, saying that if the Indian team management deems the latter more suitable for the finisher's role, they could pick him in the playing XI.

"But again, if they see that Sanju can score more runs at number six or seven, they could go with him as well," he remarked.

Gambhir highlighted the importance of backing whichever player is chosen for the job. "Whoever plays, I think we should back that player," he concluded.

India will open their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign against Ireland in New York on June 5.

Team India’s 15-member squad for T20 World Cup 2024:

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Akshar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh

Travelling Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan


By Salman Anjum - 15 May, 2024

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