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‘That is Virat Kohli’s decision’ – Sourav Ganguly on KL Rahul being preferred as keeper

Rishabh Pant suffered a concussion after being hit on the head by a Pat Cummins bouncer in the first ODI against Australia at home, which led to Rahul keeping wickets.

Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo by Samir Jana/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Men in Blue started their New Zealand sojourn on a winning note as they triumphed in the first T20I of the five-match series at Auckland’s Eden Park ground. It was a terrific victory for the visitors given that they were facing a tough task of chasing down the 205-run target. There was also a very unique thing seen in the match itself.

The Indian captain Virat Kohli decided to hand the keeping gloves to KL Rahul, preferring him over Rishabh Pant. This seemed like a throwback to just around 20 years ago, when Sourav Ganguly asked Rahul Dravid to don the keeping gloves in order to bring balance to the side, which carried on in white-ball cricket until one MS Dhoni arrived on the scene.

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Sourav Ganguly weighs in on Kohli’s decision to let Rahul keep wickets

Rishabh Pant suffered a concussion after being hit on the head by a Pat Cummins bouncer in the first ODI against Australia at home, which led to Rahul keeping wickets. He did a good enough job for Kohli to continue using him in the dual role of keeper-opener despite Pant being declared fit. He even scored a fifty in the Auckland T20I, setting a good platform for the middle order to launch an assault.

“He has played well in ODIs and T20Is. He started well in Test cricket but has gone down slightly. But in limited-overs cricket, he has played really well and hopes he continues all the good work but as I said, all these decisions are of the team management’s,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

The BCCI President also decided to steer away from the query of whether Rahul was in a race with Pant for the wicketkeeper’s spot in the team for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. He said, “The selectors, Virat and Ravi will decide that. Whatever they think, it’ll happen that way.” Rahul scored 56 runs in just 27 balls and added 99 runs with Virat Kohli (55), giving the team a dream start.

Meanwhile, KL Rahul mentioned that he was loving the dual responsibility and said that keeping in IPL and for Karnataka in domestic matches has kept him in touch with the gloves and that helped him gain the confidence to keep wickets in international matches as well.

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