I don't think KL Rahul is a long-term option, don't rule out MS Dhoni in a hurry: Mohammad Kaif

He also felt that MS Dhoni is irreplaceable.

MS Dhoni, Mohammad Kaif and KL Rahul
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MS Dhoni, Mohammad Kaif and KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Getty Images & Twitter)

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KL Rahul turning wicket-keeper in the ODIs and T20Is has given India the option of slotting in an extra batsman. Rather Virat Kohli seemed optimistic about continuing with Rahul in the near future during the New Zealand tour and it sidelined Rishabh Pant from the playing XI as well. However, Mohammad Kaif is of the opinion that the Karnataka batsman isn’t a long term option in terms of wicket-keeping.

Kaif also feels that MS Dhoni shouldn’t be ruled out even though he hasn’t played any cricket over the last 10 months or so. The veteran has taken a sabbatical from the game since the World Cup semi-final last year and was set to make a comeback in the IPL. But with the ongoing pandemic, the tournament has been suspended until further notice which prolonged his break.

And Kaif feels that there is no replacement for MS Dhoni yet in the team. The likes of Pant and Sanju Samson haven’t performed to the expectations yet. Though it could be argued that the latter has got fewer chances so far to prove his mettle. Speaking about Rahul, the former India cricketer stated that he should be a back-up wicketkeeper only.

“There has been no replacement. So many players have been tried in place of Dhoni. I don’t think KL Rahul is a long-term option. He should always be the back-up wicket-keeper, if a keeper gets injured then Rahul should keep wickets. So you have to groom another keeper. Even Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson haven’t been able to take the place of Dhoni.

“When you talk of Sachin, Dravid, you have had replacements like Kohli, Rohit, Rahane, Pujara. They have filled that void. But it hasn’t been the case with Dhoni. So I think Dhoni is still the number one wicket-keeper. He is amazingly fit and he should not be sidelined in a hurry,” Mohammad Kaif said while speaking to Times of India.

MS Dhoni is the number one player, says Mohammad Kaif

The 39-year-old also pointed out that MS Dhoni is still the number one player and reckons lack of cricket might not have affected his batting much. He also stated that Dhoni is still extremely fit and is irreplaceable. “People think that there is a gap and had he played in the IPL it would have been easier for him to make a comeback. But I don’t think so.

“Dhoni is such a big player, he is a proper match-winner who knows how to play under pressure at number 6 and 7 and he is absolutely fit. So in my mind, Dhoni is the number one player. No matter how many players come, you cannot replace MS Dhoni, because I think that if you remove someone, then another player should be ready,” Mohammad Kaif further added.