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Rishabh Pant or Sanju Samson in starting XI? India legend picks his choice citing one’s superior glove work | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has endorsed Rishabh Pant as India’s starting wicketkeeper for the 2024 T20 World Cup, citing Pant’s superior glove work and recent form. Gavaskar’s comments come after a stellar performance by Pant in India’s lone warm-up game against Bangladesh, where he scored a blistering 53 off 32 balls.
Pant’s competitor, Sanju Samson, failed to make an impact in the same match, managing only one run off six balls.With both players having impressive IPL 2024 seasons, the decision to choose between them has been a subject of debate.
Samson was the fifth-highest run-scorer in the IPL 2024, amassing 531 runs at an average of over 48 and a strike rate of 153.46 across 16 games. Pant, on the other hand, showed no signs of rust after a 15-month layoff, scoring 446 runs at an average of 40.54 and a strike rate of 155.40 in 13 matches.Speaking to Star Sports after the warm-up game, Gavaskar emphasized Pant’s edge in wicketkeeping abilities over Samson.
“I think simply because if you compare the wicketkeeping abilities, then Rishabh Pant is a better wicket-keeper than Samson. We’re not talking about batting here, the batting aspect also comes into play. But, Rishabh Pant in the last few matches has batted really well. On the other hand, Sanju Samson started the IPL season superbly, scored runs at will, hitting the ball to all corners of the ground,” said Gavaskar.
Both players have had underwhelming T20I careers. Samson averages under 19 with a lone half-century in 25 games, while Pant averages 22.43 in 66 games for India in the shortest format.

Gavaskar pointed out that Samson’s inability to score big runs in the latter part of the IPL 2024 and the warm-up game against Bangladesh could tip the scales in Pant’s favor.
“In the last two-three matches [of IPL 2024], he didn’t quite get runs. So this was an opportunity for him actually, the match against Bangladesh. If he had scored about 50-60, then there would have been no question, but I do feel that the Indian selection committee will look at having Rishabh Pant as the keeper,” Gavaskar added.
India, who haven’t won an ICC trophy since 2013, will be hoping that the inclusion of Pant in the playing XI will strengthen their chances as they kick off their T20 World Cup campaign. Having secured a convincing 60-run win against Bangladesh in their warm-up game, India are set to face Ireland in their opening match on Wednesday.

India T20 WC squad.

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