‘Rahul better wicketkeeper than Dravid’
KL Rahul had a great day in the second ODI against Australia in Rajkot; not only with the bat, but as the man behind the stump as well. This gave birth to an idea whether he can be considered as a long-term wicketkeeper-batsman option to bring a much-needed balance in the side.
Rahul had to take the gloves because of the injury of regular wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, but he fared so well that comparisons have already been drawn with the great Rahul Dravid. Rahul played as a wicketkeeper-batsman for India in more than 70 ODIs.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra too has some great compliment for Rahul, as he said Rahul is even better than the great Dravid as a wicketkeeper. Having said that, he also believes the right-hander should be protected from the dual responsiobility.
“He is a better keeper than what Dravid was but I would not want him to keep on a regular basis. Keeping takes a toll. He can’t be keeping for 50 overs and then batting higher up the order,” said Chopra ahead of the series decider in Bengaluru on Sunday (January 19).
“If somebody who is that good (with the bat) and if he can do another job, it doesn’t mean that he should keep as well. Rahul is too precious a talent for me to slot in as a keeper batsman. That way, instead of managing his workload, you are increasing his workload.
“Once in a while if he has to keep for the team balance it is okay but in the longer run you have to allow him to score 10000 runs and that won’t happen if he is being asked to keep,” Chopra added.
Nayan Mongia, another former India wicketkeeper, is also of the opinion that Rahul should not be the number one choice behind the stumps in the 50-over format.
“He can be a good second wicket-keeper. He cannot be a permanent wicket-keeper in ODIs. T20s it is still okay but not in ODIs. There should be a regular keeper but he can be a second option,” Mongia said.