"Is he the best white-ball keeper batter in India?"- Ex-NZ legend makes a huge claim in Pant vs Samson debate
After the retirement of the former Indian captain MS Dhoni, India has invested a lot of time on Rishabh Pant as the next wicket-kepeer star for India. However, he has also delivered in the longest format for India and is a key member of the team, like other senior players.
But is he the best wicket-keeping option that India has in the white-ball format? After consistent failures in the white-ball formats (T20Is and ODIs), many former cricketers and cricket pundits have raised questions about his selection in the team.
Notably, the likes of Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan haven't got that much of the chances that Pant has got in recent times. It sparked the debate of Pant vs Samson among many Indian cricket lovers. Sanju made his debut for India in 2015 and has only played 11 ODIs and 16 T20Is in his 7-year-long career.
On the other hand, Pant made his debut in 2018 and has played a total of 29 ODIs and 66 T20Is. Sanju was benched in the three T20Is against New Zealand and then was again dropped in the second ODI, while Pant played in all games.
Former New Zealand pacer and well-known commentator Simon Doull also believes that India should stick with Samson for a long time. In a discussion on Cricbuzz with Harsha Bhogle, Doull said that Pant has played approximately 30 games and is averaging 35, while Samson has played 11 games and is averaging 60, which is more than enough.
He said, "The Rishabh Pant vs Sanju Samson debate is an interesting one for me. There is so much talk about Rishabh Pant, and how he is the future. But in white-ball formats, he hasn’t quite done it. But is he the best white-ball keeper batter? I am not convinced."
Regardless of his white-ball performance, Pant has been outstanding in tests for India. In his short career, he has already scored centuries in India, Australia, England, and South Africa, totalling 2123 runs in 53 Test innings, including five centuries and 10 half-centuries.
With the upcoming ODI World Cup in 2023, it will be interesting to see who India will give a chance to in the team. India is scheduled to play more ODI games in the coming months, ahead of the World Cup in October and November.