Rating India's wicketkeeping options for the T20 World Cup

As the T20 carnival is about to begin in India, the focus will predominantly be on the wicketkeeper batters.
Jitesh Sharma is a good player.?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
We look at the best wicketkeeper options for the T20 World Cup, rating them based on their expertise.

As the T20 carnival is about to begin in India, the focus will predominantly be on the wicketkeeper batters. India have plenty of options to decide from, and all of them are worthy in some way. The team management has tried different players for this role, but they would still want to see more of them before a final call on the T20 World Cup 2024 squad.

Hence, the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season will be intriguing, as performances in this tournament will play a massive role in deciding the right player behind the stumps. The competition among the wicketkeepers will be intense. The player showing more consistency with the willow and suitable technique with the gloves will press his case hard.

We look at the best wicketkeeper options for the T20 World Cup, rating them based on their expertise.

Jitesh Sharma (4.5/5)

Jitesh Sharma has been one of the most impressive wicketkeeper batters in IPL in the last couple of seasons. Jitesh has the capability to hit the ball long from the first ball and possesses a bunch of boundary shots in his armour. His expertise had been visible while playing for Punjab Kings (PBKS), leading to his India debut last year.

Jitesh has continued his tremendous attacking intent in blue jersey, proved by his healthy strike rate of 147.06 and balls-per-boundary ratio of 4.53 in seven T20I innings. Further, Jitesh is also a safe wicketkeeper, showing encouraging technique with the gloves. He should be the top-most choice for India in the T20 World Cup 2024.

Ishan Kishan (4/5)

Despite all the controversy around Ishan Kishan’s unavailability, his supreme expertise is undebatable. He was with the Indian team continuously before taking an extended break and has fallen behind other players now. Still, Kishan is a terrific batter who can maintain a high strike rate and intent required in T20s.

The 25-year-old has been an integral member of Mumbai Indians (MI), and if he performs consistently this season, he might be in contention again. He can be flexible with his batting position and do different roles. Kishan’s wicketkeeping has improved massively, and he is usually safe behind the sticks.

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KL Rahul (3.5/5)

Skillwise, KL Rahul will be at the top of this list, but he hasn’t been as consistent, and his approach has been questionable in T20s. This year, Rahul will bat in the middle order for Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), and how he will fare remains to be seen. But Rahul should do a fine job in his new role, for he has the skillsets and experience of ODIs.

He has been part of the World Cup teams in the previous editions, but Rahul has never looked comfortable in the tournament and disappointed his side. There are no doubts over his batting or wicketkeeping skills, but he hasn’t batted in the middle order in the 20-over format. Rahul is behind Ishan and Jitesh in the pecking order, but a rocking IPL can change things and give him a World Cup spot.

Sanju Samson (3.5/5)

Sanju Samson is another player with massive potential, but his inconsistency has been a significant issue. However, his intent is suitable for the T20 format, even though it comes at the expense of low scores. He can also be flexible and bat anywhere, and his attacking approach can be a difference.

Samson’s glovework is also ideal, for he keeps well against pacers and spinners. It’s just that he hasn’t scored runs as consistently while playing for India as his 18.7 average in T20Is suggests. The team management has given a few chances to test Samson, and a big IPL season can open the doors, but he is not among the first-choice options for now.

Rishabh Pant (3/5)

Rishabh Pant has been really unfortunate to find himself at the bottom of this list. While he will feature in the IPL this year, Pant won’t keep the wickets, for he is not 100% fit yet. There is no doubt about his batting capabilities, but India can not afford to play him solely as a batter.

If Pant gets fit before the T20 World Cup, he will definitely be in consideration, given he is a match-winner. Jay Shah confirmed that Pant is in line for the T20 World Cup should he be able to keep wickets. He hasn’t played competitive cricket since that horrible accident, so how he will turn up in the IPL remains to be seen. The Indian team management will keenly watch his progress in the event since Rishabh Pant will be crucial for India in the future series, but he might miss out on a T20 World Cup spot due to being unfit to keep.

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