India batsman KL Rahul has gone on to consolidate his place in India's limited-overs sides. The right-hander was seen performing various roles as per the team's demand in India's 2-1 ODI series win against Australia in January. KL Rahul took up the wicketkeeper's role in the series and did a decent job. Virat Kohli seemed optimistic about continuing with KL Rahul during the New Zealand tour and it sidelined Rishabh Pant from the playing XI as well.
Now, former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has joined the bandwagon over India's No.1 wicketkeeper. Kaif, who has been full of praise of his ex-teammate MS Dhoni, maintained in an interview with The Times of India, that India cannot afford to look past the CSK captain at the moment. Although KL Rahul has been perfect in his makeshift role so far, Kaif feels that he isn't a long-term option for India going ahead.
Mohammad Kaif cited examples of legendary cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid by saying that the Indian team had replacements like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara for them, who have filled that void but the same hasn't been the case with MS Dhoni. The likes of Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant have struggled, which makes KL Rahul India's ideal 'backup wicketkeeper' in Kaif's opinion.
Mohammad Kaif's views echo those of the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Rohit Sharma and Ashish Nehra in recent times. While many believe that India have moved on from MS Dhoni, cricket pundits and ardent Dhoni supporters believe that the former India captain has a lot of cricket left in him
While Mohammad Kaif feels that MS Dhoni is the only option India have at the moment for the keeper's spot, others such as Suresh Raina and Lakshmipathy Balaji, claimed recently that they were impressed by Dhoni's fitness, skills, hunger and overall joy for the game when they saw him train at the CSK training camp in Chennai before the IPL was called off.
The IPL 2020 taking place becomes all the most crucial for Mohammad Kaif's claim of MS Dhoni being 'irreplacable' coming out to be true with the T20 World Cup likely to next take place in 2021 in India.