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Gautam Gambhir Backs KL Rahul As MS Dhoni's 'ideal Replacement' In Indian Team

Former Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir believes KL Rahul would be fine as India's primary wicketkeeping choice in limited-overs cricket after MS Dhoni.

Gautam Gambhir

Veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni has been on a sabbatical from international cricket since India’s exit from the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Since then, the likes of Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul have taken over wicketkeeping duties in limited-overs formats for India. MS Dhoni, now at 38 years of age, was set to make a return to competitive cricket through the highly-anticipated Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) season, which was originally scheduled to launch on March 29. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to postpone the event until further notice.

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MS Dhoni’s international comeback and IPL 2020

The IPL 2020 was widely dubbed as an ideal opportunity for MS Dhoni to make his bid for a comeback into the national side in time for the ICC T20 World Cup later this year. With the IPL 2020 already being postponed and rumours of a likely cancellation is currently making rounds, that possibility is becoming all the more bleak by the day.

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Gautam Gambhir lauds KL Rahul

Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer and 2011 World Cup hero Gautam Gambhir seems to have taken a liking to KL Rahul’s performances for the Indian team. While speaking to Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir said that he has seen KL Rahul’s performance with the bat and behind the stumps and believes he could become an “apt replacement” for MS Dhoni going forward. Former opening batsman Gautam Gambhir also said that even though KL Rahul is “not as good as” MS Dhoni when it comes to wicketkeeping, his batting abilities at No.3 or 4 makes him a utility player.

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KL Rahul's performances as wicketkeeper-batsman so far

KL Rahul took over the wicketkeeper’s role from Rishabh Pant when the latter suffered an injury during the ODI series between India and Australia in January this year. Since then, KL Rahul has scored 303 runs in five ODI innings at an average of 75.75. In the five-match T20I series in New Zealand, the right-handed batsman scored 224 runs and was adjudged as ‘Player of the Series’.

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