Sanjay Manjrekar picked KL Rahul over Rishabh Pant during a Question & Answer session with the fans on social media. Pant was ruled out of the ODI series against Australia due to concussion. He was struck on the helmet by a Pat Cummins bouncer during the first ODI in Mumbai and Rahul was the makeshift wicket-keeper.
Even though the opening batsman had a few misses behind the stumps, he had effected a lightening-fast stumping of a well-set Aaron Finch in the second ODI which was a must-win contest for India.
It so happened that a fan had asked Manjrekar whether a couple of ODIs are enough to judge KL Rahul's ability as a regular wicketkeeper and is it fair on Rishabh Pant. The fan also asked whether Rahul makes the XI as a keeper ahead of the southpaw to which the cricketer-turned commentator replied that he was pleasantly surprised by the keeping of Rahul.
At the same time, the ex-cricketer also added that Rishabh Pant is neither MS Dhoni or Wriddhiman Saha and therefore, Rahul can challenge him for the keeper's position.
Sanjay Manjrekar's reply did not go down well with some fans, who heavily criticised him.
You were surprised because we didn't watched thoroughly his keeping skills.i am telling this for years now to use him as a wicket keeper batsman and he can surely strengthen our middle order.— Pritam Das (@SppritamDas) January 20, 2020
Why are u so much against pant mr manjerekar— vinay amin (@amin_vinay) January 20, 2020
A cricket fan had asked Manjrekar whether he reckons that there are any chances of the 2011 World Cup-winning skipper playing the T20 World Cup to which the cricketer-turned-commentator replied that it will be one of the major attractions of the IPL with regards to Dhoni and his form. The veteran commentator also added that he is a huge fan of Dhoni and has always been.
MS Dhoni had led India to their first and only T20 World Cup triumph in the inaugural edition of the tournament back in 2007. That was Dhoni's first stint as a captain.