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Gautam Gambhir backs Rishabh Pant as Team India’s first choice wicketkeeper for T20 World Cup 2024

Rishabh Pant scored 987 runs in 66 T20Is for Team India.

Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has backed Rishabh Pant as India’s first choice wicketkeeper-batsman for T20 World Cup 2024. The marquee tournament will be played in the United States and the West Indies (June 1 to 29).

The Men in Blue will play all their group stage games in the USA. They will play the semi-final in Guyana if they reach the last four stage. The conditions are going to be tricky since the batters are not used to it as well.

However, Gambhir reckons Pant will be preferred over Samson because of the middle-order experience. At the same time, Gambhir maintained that both Pant and Samson have equal quality before adding that only one of them will be in the playing XI.

Read more: BCCI targets Stephen Fleming to replace Rahul Dravid as head coach of Team India

Gautam Gambhir explains why Rishabh Pant will be preferred over Sanju Samson

The former Indian opener echoed that Rishabh Pant’s flexibility to bat in the middle-order gives him an edge over Samson. For the record, Pant has batted at number five, six and seven positions. Moreover, India’s top-order is already sorted out.

“It’s touch and go but I’d start with Rishabh because he’s a left-hander and a natural middle-order batsman. Sanju in the IPL has batted at number three, but India’s top-order is fixed,” the T20 World Cup 2007 winner was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda.

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“Rishabh has batted at number five, six and seven. India need a wicketkeeper in that position as compared to a top-three batsman. A left-hander in the middle-order gives you that left hand-right hand combination,” the KKR mentor added.

Rishabh Pant has made 66 appearances for Team India in T20Is. He accumulated 987 runs at a strike rate of 126.4. Notably, he smashed 1 century and 18 fifties. On the other hand, Sanju Samson scored 374 runs in 25 T20Is at a strike rate of 139.2 including a fifty.

Read more: Super Computer predicts three teams that will qualify for IPL 2024 playoffs

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