Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has questioned the team management's decision to potentially jeopardize the future of Rishabh Pant, having highlighted KL Rahul as a strong candidate for the wicket-keeper batsman's slot.
“There are few areas in cricket and business which overlap. Let’s talk about KL Rahul, a fantastic human resource for Indian cricket. He has a good attitude, top-class fitness level, an array of strokes and leadership qualities. On a corporate scale, Rahul is an invaluable middle-management asset who can be groomed for bigger roles,” said Gambhir in his column for Times of India.
“A concussion break to Rishabh Pant meant that Rahul had to keep wickets too, a task he did with assurance. This has now led to talk that he will continue this dual role in the upcoming limited-overs games. I hope the Indian team’s HR department - selectors and team management - have deliberated carefully on this,” he added.
Gambhir further stated that it is important for the team management to involve KL Rahul in discussions over the roles and responsibilities, considering the inability of a young player to reject any proposal from the selectors.
“I want the decision-makers to consider a few aspects. Have they discussed this with Rahul? Is he wholeheartedly performing the role? It’s usually impossible for a young cricketer to say “no” to anything thrown at him without risking getting dropped,” he elaborated.
“Second, what happens to Rishabh Pant? I think his confidence is already eroding under the constant scrutiny of his technique. I’m not sure how he will perceive this move. A fair and open-hearted chat with Rishabh will ensure the team performs well both on and off the field. Organisations can ill afford to have a talented but disgruntled youngster in the room,” concluded Gambhir.