Former chief selector Saba Karim believes that despite the presence of Sanju Samson and young player Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant remains the first choice for Team India as a wicketkeeper. Suggesting that Samson can play in the team as a pure batsman, Karim said that Kishan has not made the most of the opportunities given to him by the management. Karim further said that Pant has an X-factor, which puts him ahead of Samson and Kishan. He also supported Pant to retain his place in the team in both red and white ball cricket.
Karim said during an interaction with India News, “I would still choose Rishabh Pant over Sanju Samson and Ishaan Kishan. I don’t see the X factor in these two that Rishabh Pant has. Samson is an amazing stroke player. And can retain his place in the team as a batsman. Ishan Kishan did not take full advantage of his opportunity, which is why he has fallen below the pecking order. In this, Pant white-ball and red-ball Cricket will be my first choice of both.”
Samson and Kishan are part of the second-line Indian team for the ongoing ODI series against South Africa (India vs South Africa).
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In the first match played in Lucknow, India lost by 9 runs. In this match, Samson played an unbeaten innings of 86 runs, while Kishan was seen struggling during his innings of 20 runs in 37 balls.
At the same time, Pant is with the Indian team for the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia.
Team India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their first match (India vs Pakistan) of the T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 23 October.
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