‘Wicketkeeper cannot be opening batter in Tests’: Gambhir explains why KL Rahul donning gloves ‘is next to impossible’

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KL Rahul has donned the gloves for India in the limited-over format on previous occasion and many believe he can do the same in the longer format of the game too.  

Rishabh Pant has received a lot of flak ever since his rash drive, which led to his dismissal on a 3-ball duck in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test. While many pointed his  recent form, which indicated a string of low-scores, some were critical about his shot selection. 

With Pant once again falling under the radar because of his batting, the fans have started to argue to replace the wicketkeeper-batter with KL Rahul. The Karnataka cricketer has donned the gloves for India in the limited-over format on previous occasion and many believe he can do the same in the longer format of the game too.

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However, former India batter Gautam Gambhir termed the suggestion as ‘next to impossible’, pointing out the workload involved in Tests as compared to T20Is and ODIs. 

Replying to a question by a fan on Star Sports, the former India cricketer said: “I will just say Rahul as opener. If you see any wicketkeeper, if he keeps for 150 overs and then he has to play the first ball, it is next to impossible. It can work in ODIs and T20Is but you need a regular wicket-keeper in Test matches.” 

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Gambhir declined the thought stating that a wicketkeeper cannot open the innings in Test cricket, adding it can be tried in a game or two but one should not rely it as a long-term solution. 

“Your wicketkeeper cannot be an opening batter in Tests, it can be a one-off case when you don’t have an opener. But it is not a long-term solution. So Rahul as keeper – definitely not, because you want him to score runs against the new ball and he has just started to get into the rhythm of Test cricket,” added Gambhir.

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