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T20 World Cup: Rishabh Pant & Dhruv Jurel join keepers’ race via IPL 2024

T20 World Cup: Rishabh Pant & Dhruv Jurel join keepers’ race via IPL 2024

IPL 2024 to decide India's wicketkeeper for T20 World Cup 2024 as Rishabh Pant & Dhruv Jurel join Jitesh Sharma & KL Rahul in contest.

With less than 100 days to go for ICC T20 World Cup 2024, India Cricket Team are yet to zero down on their squad. While the return of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli adds to selection headache, the keeper-batter slots will be a hotly contested one. Jitesh Sharma was the one all but set for T20 WC debut. But with Rishabh Pant making a comeback in IPL 2024 and Dhurv Jurel making his Test debut, they have surely joined the selection contest. Now, all eyes will be on IPL as Ajit Agarkar-led BCCI selection committee pick 15-member squad for the mega event in USA & West Indies by May 2.

India’s options for WK-batter:

  • Ishan Kishan
  • Sanju Samson
  • Jitesh Sharma
  • KL Rahul
  • Rishabh Pant
  • Dhruv Jurel

Out of six options India Cricket Team have, only three fit in at No 5-6 slots. Why is the batting position so important? That’s because India’s Top 5 looks packed. With return of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, India do not have the luxury to tinker with combinations. Even Shubman Gill is likely to miss the bus. Hence, a keeper-batter who can bat at No 6 looks to be the best bet.

Rishabh Pant, Jitesh Sharma and Dhruv Jurel are the only three who can bat at lower order.

Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul have not had a proven record at No 5-6 in T20 cricket or as a finisher.

Latest on IPL 2024

Rishabh Pant

Delhi Capitals co-owner Parth Jindal has confirmed that Rishabh Pant will make a comeback as a batter in IPL 2024. Since his near-fatal accident in December 2022, Rishabh is yet to play any competitive cricket. However, the moment he returns to pitch and hits some good runs, he will be back in contention.

However, India need Rishabh the keeper more than the batter. Rishabh Pant will begin keeping in the second half of the IPL 2024. That’s the expectation and not yet confirmed. The BCCI medical team does not want to rush his return as the keeper as he has had a major ligament reconstruction surgery.

Jitesh Sharma

Jitesh Sharma played some impactful knocks since making his India debut. he maintained a strike rate of 147.05 at No 6 — something India need badly.

However, the lack of game time and failing to use the rare opportunities have forced him to join the IPL 2024 lottery. He will have to prove his worth once again.

Dhruv Jurel

An exciting talent, Dhruv Jurel made heads turn in IPL 2023 with some powerful shots and more importantly some unorthodox hits. he only avaraged 21.71 in 13 matches but he struck at 172.73 in IPL 2023.

Should he get some opportunities at Rajasthan Royals this time too, he will be in contention for a spot in T20 World Cup 2024 squad.

What about KL Rahul, Sanju Samson & Ishan Kishan?

KL Rahul is a thorough top-order batter. While he has batted at No 4 11 times in IPL, he is a proven opener. Even though his keeping skills will be of great use, India have no slots available in Top 5. Hence, he may not be an ideal choice.

Ishan Kishan too looks doubtful considering the recent feud he has had with the BCCI. After ignoring the team management and BCCI secretary Jay Shah’s advice of playing Ranji Trophy, he is not on good books. But more importantly, he too is a top-order batter. And his stats in the middle-order do not help his cause. At No 4, he has played 22 innings in IPL. But he averages 29.00. With no space in Top 5, he needs a record-breaking IPL 2024 to make a case for T20 World Cup 2024.

Then comes Sanju Samson. The Kerala batter has batted from No 1 to No 7 for India. But neither he has been consistent in T20Is and nor the selectors been consistent with his selection.

He still is a top order batter and with his inconsistencies, it is unlikely that he would be in the T20 World Cup 2024 squad. But like Ishan, if he has a record-breaking IPL 2024, things could change.

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