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Team India has always preferred one wicket-keeper for all formats in the past seventeen years, their former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
MS Dhoni has been one of the greatest wicket-keepers in the cricket world. Both as a captain and as a wicket-keeper, MS Dhoni has achieved many milestones. As a captain, he led team India to ICC titles; ICC World T20 2007, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013. Along with the white ball titles, MS Dhoni has also won ICC Test Championship Mace.
As a wicket-keeper, MS Dhoni made 294 dismissals in his Test career, ranks first in the all-time dismissals list by Indian wicket-keepers. He also shares the record for most dismissals in an innings (6, with Syed Kirmani) and in a match (9) by an Indian wicket-keeper.
Dhoni has the most stumpings (120) by any wicket-keeper in an ODI career and is so far the only keeper to pass 100 stumpings. He was also the first Indian wicket-keeper to take 300 ODI catches and fourth wicket-keeper in the world to achieve the feat.
Again, in T20Is, MS Dhoni has most dismissals (91) with 57 catches and 34 stumpings. Again, the catches and stumpings is the most by any player in T20Is.
With MS Dhoni now retired from the national side, who will take his place and become India’s number one choice wicket-keeper and batsmen? We look at three Indian wicket-keepers who can replace Dhoni for the future.
1. Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant is a likely replacement for India in all formats. Despite his poor white ball record, Pant has already proved in Test cricket. As I have spoke on Pant’s rise in the longest format, he will gradually improve in the shorter formats of the game as well. He seems to have already mark his spot in Test XI for India after his magnificent show against Australia, where India won 2-1.
2. Sanju Samson
Playing for Kerela in his early days where he emerged as star, Sanju Samson is a right-hand batsman who keeps wickets. Still young at 26, he has scored over 3,000 First Class runs at an average of 37 and half, over 2300 List A runs at an average of 30 and over 4000 runs in Twenty20 cricket.
With a lot of cricket still to offer, Sanju Samson may emerge as the possible candidate to replace MS Dhoni at least in white ball cricket for India.
3. KL Rahul
The 28 year old right-hand wicket-keeper is still playing for India. Though he is not a first choice wicket-keeper, he is still picked in the side as a batsman, especially in T20I where his record is superb averaging 44 with a strike-rate of almost 145.
As impressive as his record is in white ball cricket, his Test average is just 34. There is a solution though. His fellow teammate Rishabh Pant can play in Test side while KL Rahul can play T20Is and both Pant and Rahul can play in the ODIs.
What is your pick for India’s wicket-keeper in all formats? Who do you believe will succeed MS Dhoni in Indian team?
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