Former Indian batter Gautam Gambhir ruled out the possibility of KL Rahul taking over the wicketkeeping duties from Rishabh Pant in Tests.
Rishabh Pant has been under the fire for his batting failures in Test cricket since the final of the World Test Championship 2021 and his poor performance in the ongoing Test series against South Africa has only worsened the case more.
Pant has mainly received a lot of flak for throwing his wicket away by playing wild shots and not batting according to the situation. On the other hand, KL Rahul since his return to the Indian Test side has looked very settled and grown immensely as a Test cricketer.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir was asked by a fan whether KL Rahul should keep wickets in Tests if Rishabh Pant continues to get out on rash shots.
"We have seen Pant getting out in same fashion multiple times. Is their a possibility to make Rahul keeper and play an extra batsman if Pant continues to get out on rash shots," Fan asked.
Replying to this, Gautam Gambhir said that being the opening batter, it’s next to impossible for him to keep the wickets, stressing that team needs a regular wicketkeeper in Tests.
"I will just say Rahul as opener, Rahul as keeper. If you see any wicketkeeper, if he keeps for 150 overs and then he has to play the first ball, it is next to impossible. It can work in ODIs and T20Is but you need a regular wicket-keeper in Test matches," Gautam Gambhir said.
Gautam Gambhir further said that KL Rahul shouldn’t keep wickets in Tests and should continue scoring runs against the new ball as he has just started to get into the rhythm of Test cricket.
"Your wicketkeeper cannot be an opening batter in Tests, it can be a one-off case when you don't have an opener. But it is not a long-term solution. So Rahul as keeper - definitely not, because you want him to score runs against the new ball and he has just started to get into the rhythm of Test cricket," he said.
Both Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul are currently playing the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. While the right-hander failed to get going in both the innings, the southpaw scored 27 runs in the first innings and is yet to bat in the second essay.
(Star Sports inputs)