Gambhir: KL Rahul an 'apt replacement' for MS Dhoni

Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir believes KL Rahul will be an "apt replacement" for MS Dhoni in limited-overs cricket.

The 38-year-old Dhoni has not played any cricket since India were knocked out of the 50-over World Cup at the semifinal stage in July last year.

Dhoni has not officially retired and the India selectors were still considering the veteran wicketkeeper for the T20 World Cup that is scheduled to take place later this year in Australia.

However, his selection would have been on the basis of his form in the IPL but the T20 tournament is in serious doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe.

Rishabh Pant was initially considered Dhoni's replacement after the World Cup but Rahul donned the gloves with success in white-ball cricket for the last few months.

Since taking on the role of keeper-batsman in limited-overs internationals Rahul has been in phenomenal form.

In ODIs, he has scored 303 runs in five innings at an average of 75.75 and a strike rate of 114.77, while batting mostly at number five.

Opening the batting in T20Is, he's scored 224 runs at an average of 56.00 and a strike rate of 144.51.

Speaking on Star Sports Cricket Connected, Gambhir said: "If the IPL does not happen this year, then it will become very difficult for MS Dhoni to make a comeback.

"On what basis can he be selected since he's not been playing for the last one or one and a half years.

"The apt replacement for Dhoni could be KL Rahul. Ever since he has donned the keeper's gloves in white-ball cricket, I've seen his performance, both batting and keeping.

"Obviously his keeping is not as good as Dhoni's, but if you are looking at T20 cricket, Rahul's a utility player, can keep and bat at No. 3 or 4.

"If the IPL does not happen, then MS Dhoni's chances for a comeback look dim.

"Ultimately, you are representing India, so whoever dishes out the best performance and can win the match for India should play for the team.

"As far as his retirement plans go by, that's his personal choice."

- TEAMtalk media

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