India must play the WTC final at the Oval with a special wicketkeeper instead of a part-time keeper, says Gautam Gambhir.
Taking a sly dig on former players, who want KL Rahul as a wicketkeeper-batter for the World Test Championship final at The Oval in June, Gambhir said the team must play the “specialist wicketkeeper” KS Bharat instead of a “part timekeeper.”
“You should always go with a special wicketkeeper. England is a tough place to keep, where you can’t go with a part-time wicketkeeper,” Former Cricketer told
He also said KL Rahul, who had a decent record in England, should purely play as a batsman but not as a “wicketkeeper-batsman.”
“If you want to pick KL Rahul for the World Test Championship final, then play him purely as a batsman,” he said.
He also backed KS Bharat, who had received harsh criticism for his keeping and batting in the just finished Border-Gavaskar Test series from the previous players.
“In four matches, we came to the conclusion that KS Bharat’s batting and keeping is not up to the mark. In those four matches, our top-order batsmen also failed to score, we must keep that in mind,” said Former Cricketer.
“Those former players who are questioning Bharat must check their own records. The longer runs they have got despite not being able to perform. In Test cricket, you should always play a proper keeper. A wicketkeeper can drop catches but he can also take some stunning catches as well.
“Ex-cricketers should know the importance of keeping in Test cricket. One drop catch can change the Test match. If a keeper drops a catch you know that he is a regular keeper, but if a part-time keeper drops a catch, you will keep scratching your head the entire five days that, oh we should have played a proper wicketkeeper,” he added.
In addition, Gambhir slammed detractors for criticising KL Rahul’s performance and claimed that IPL cricket is very distinct from international cricket.
“I don’t think there will be any pressure on KL Rahul because IPL cricket is different than IPL cricket. If you score 1000 runs in the IPL and but if you fail to score in international cricket, you will face criticism. Only 15 players get to represent the country. In IPL more than 150 players get selected,” he said.
“Former cricketers criticise because they want to stay relevant. I don’t think KL Rahul will be under any pressure. One player doesn’t win you the tournament; there are 25 players in that dressing room, they are equally responsible for the success of the team,” he said.