Former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta shared his verdict on KL Rahul keeping wickets for India in the five-match Test series against England. He believes the Karnataka batsman possesses great wicketkeeping skills but is inexperienced in donning the gloves in Indian conditions.
India have named three wicketkeepers in the squad for the upcoming Test series against England. KL Rahul, KS Bharat and Dhruv Jurel have been given the roles. But the main question that keeps everyone interested is who will keep the wickets in the Test series.
KL Rahul kept wickets in the Test series against South Africa but it is not clear whether he will do a job in the England series or not. Keeping a wicket in India is not an easy task as it requires a lot of work because the balls spin sharply which makes keeping it extremely crucial.
KL Rahul, who for the first time kept wickets in South Africa in Test cricket, has not even done the job in the Ranji Trophy in India. But with the kind of quality he possesses with the bat, making him sit could prove to be a huge mistake, especially against the quality England team.
Deep Dasgupta believes that KL Rahul is not a part-time wicketkeeper as he was India’s wicketkeeper in the ODI World Cup. The former cricketer pointed out the challenge of staying in Tests and highlighted that doing the job for longer periods will be a challenge. Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, he stated:
“Look, I don’t think it’s right to call Rahul a part-time goalkeeper. He played in the World Cup for India as a goalkeeper. You need to have the ability to do that. The challenge for him is that he hasn’t done the job in first-class cricket, in Ranji trophy cricket, where you go 90 overs or maybe even more on the field in the heat and all that.
“So for goalkeepers, as much as it is a skill, repetition is essential and you only get that by playing more games. Because the skill is the same. It’s just about catching the ball. But what matters is doing it for long periods of time.”
I don’t think KL Rahul has faced that before: Deep Dasgupta talks about holding his own against Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Deep Dasgupta, while talking about KL Rahul, further highlighted that the batsman has not kept wickets against Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and it will be a big challenge.
The former Indian cricketer further spoke about the role of the wicketkeeper in India and said that it can only be mastered after practice. He elaborated:
“On spinning pitches, against Ashwin and Jadeja, I don’t think KL has faced that before. I don’t want to say that the conditions in South Africa were easier for him as a goalkeeper. But it will be different in India.
“A wicketkeeper in India has almost four or five balls of the over at stake. And there are 90 overs in a day. You have to show the same level of concentration that you had at the beginning, at the end. “That only comes with practice.”
There were recent reports suggesting that the team management had expressed to the BCCI that they did not want KL Rahul to keep wickets in the Test series against England. Therefore, KS Bharat is the first choice to take up the role.