Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes that having KL Rahul as a wicket-keeper batsman in the team is a huge asset to the side but also questioned what the move can potentially mean for the future of Rishabh Pant. Gambhir hailed Rahul as an ‘invaluable middle-management asset’ and said that he can be groomed for bigger roles in the future. However, with Rahul assuming the role of wicket-keeper, India dropped Pant in the ODI series against Australia and Gambhir is not sure about how that can affect the youngster’s confidence.
“There are few areas in cricket and business which overlap. Let’s talk about KL Rahul, a fantastic human resource for Indian cricket. He has a good attitude, top-class fitness level, an array of strokes and leadership qualities. On a corporate scale, Rahul is an invaluable middle-management asset who can be groomed for bigger roles,” Gambhir wrote in his column for Times of India.
“A concussion break to Rishabh Pant meant that Rahul had to keep wickets too, a task he did with assurance. This has now led to talk that he will continue this dual role in the upcoming limited-overs games. I hope the Indian team’s HR department – selectors and team management – have deliberated carefully on this,” Gambhir added.
Gambhir also stressed on the fact that the team management needs to take Rahul’s wishes into consideration while deciding as it can be a difficult for a young player to say no to a proposal from the management.
.“I want the decision-makers to consider a few aspects. Have they discussed this with Rahul? Is he wholeheartedly performing the role? It’s usually impossible for a young cricketer to say “no” to anything thrown at him without risking getting dropped,” Gambhir wrote.
The former India opener was concerned about Pant and how the move to retain Rahul as the wicket-keeper can affect him. Gambhir said that Pant is already under pressure because of the questions raised about his technique and he believes that the management should have a chat with the youngster.
“Second, what happens to Rishabh Pant? I think his confidence is already eroding under the constant scrutiny of his technique. I’m not sure how he will perceive this move. A fair and open-hearted chat with Rishabh will ensure the team performs well both on and off the field. Organisations can ill afford to have a talented but disgruntled youngster in the room,” Gambhir wrote.