There was a time when Indian cricket fans wondered who will don the wicketkeeping gloves after MS Dhoni announces retirement. While Dhoni has often been applauded for his captaincy skills – becoming the only player to lead the Indian team to three ICC titles – and also for his explosive batting skills, one cannot forget the wonders he did behind the stumps.
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Dhoni was not only brilliant with his DRS calls from behind the stumps, but his lightning-quick pace caused several unexpected stumpings. He also took some brilliant catches.
But Dhoni retired from Test cricket in 2014, and since then India have played several wicketkeeping options in the longest format including Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, and Parthiv Patel. In the limited-overs, India have used Dinesh Karthik, Sanju Samson, Pant and KL Rahul in that role over the years, and now that Dhoni has announced his retirement, many have pegged Rahul to take the job full-time for India.
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But when it comes to Test cricket, former India wicketkeeper Patel believes Saha is the best choice for India, while Rahul should don the gloves in ODIs and T20Is.
“I have always maintained that Saha is your best wicketkeeper-batsman in Test cricket. There is no comparison with anyone, as long as he is fit,” Parthiv told cricket.com. “As long as he is there, he should be keeping for India in Test cricket – whether you are playing abroad or India – Saha is your guy as long as he is fit.”
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On being asked if Rahul should keep wicket for India in Tests as well, Parthiv said: “That’s a tough call. KL’s glovework is fantastic, there is no doubt about it. Test cricket is completely different.
“You have got to start ‘keeping in four-day cricket first. It’s not the easiest thing to do. I would give it a long thought before thinking that KL could do the job in all formats. But one-day, T20, definitely KL.”