Top 5 Indian wicket-keepers to watch out in IPL 2024 ahead of T20 World Cup

The conundrum regarding India’s front-runner wicketkeeper for the shortest format is appalling to an extent. Since MS Dhoni’s retirement in 2019, India has seen a lot of changes behind the stumps. In the absence of Rishabh Pant and the sudden omission of Ishan Kishan in T20s, the battle for the role of wicket keepers is turning out to be dicey.

Since January last year, India have primarily tried three men behind the stumps in T20Is - Ishan Kishan, Jitesh Sharma and Sanju Samson. As the T20 World Cup comes close, the race for the wicketkeeper’s slot is gathering momentum. 

With the IPL 2024 on the horizon, all eyes will be on Indian wicket keepers in contention for a place in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup 2024. There are many young and experienced Indian keepers in the 10 franchises, who may get notice by the Indian selectors for the ICC event to be played in West Indies and the USA in June. 

Here are the top 5 Indian Wicket-keepers to watch out in IPL 2024 ahead of T20 World Cup -  

5. Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant wicket-keeper batter to watch out for IPL 2024 ahead of T20 World Cup.
Rishabh Pant (Credit - BCCI Official)

All eyes in the IPL 2024 will be on Rishabh Pant, who is eager to make his cricketing comeback in the tournament. Pant has been recovering and rehabbing since his car accident in December 2022. 

Pant was seen hitting some balls in the nets in Bengaluru at the NCA. He has recovered well and the hope is that he will take charge of the Delhi Capitals in the upcoming IPL season. However it remains to be seen whether Pant is fit enough for the rigors of wicketkeeping as it is not sure yet whether he will be seen with gloves this season. 

If he doesn’t keep wickets for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2024, his chances of him being considered as a wicketkeeper for the World Cup seems improbable. It will be compelling whether the BCCI selectors would pick him in the Indian squad for T20 World Cup 2024. 

4. Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson Indian wicket-keeper to watch out in IPL 2024 ahead of T20 World Cup.
Sanju Samson (Credit - BCCI Official)

Sanju Samson has been on the spot of the Indian team since 2015. Samson has lit up the Arun Jaitley Stadium, with his 31-ball 61-run knock in 2017 against the Gujarat Lions in the IPL.

He was once looked as backup to MS Dhoni and was primed to take over from him. But the lift of Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul as wicket keepers as well pushed Samson down. Though Samson has persisted and finally made the most of the opportunity he got for the Indian team. He played superb knocks for India in a T20I in Ireland and in the West Indies. 

However he still isn’t the favorite of the BCCI selectors. One of his primary points of concern is that in the quest to show a fearless brand of cricket, he often throws his wicket. Leadership responsibility in the IPL has allowed him to reflect on his drawbacks. A good performance with the bat and gloves in IPL 2024 might help him make a T20I comeback. 

3. Jitesh Sharma

Jitesh Sharma, young Indian wicket-keeper to watch out for in IPL 2024 ahead of T20 World Cup.
Jitesh Sharma (Credit - IPL Official)

Jitesh Sharma came into the light when he impressed everyone in the IPL, representing Punjab Kings with his abrupt innings lower down the order and clean glove work. His breakthrough season was in 2015-16, where he finished as the third highest run-scorer in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. 

On the back of some very good wicket keeping and finishing abilities for Vidarbha and Punjab Kings in IPL, Jitesh made his way into the Indian side. He was picked during T20I series against Afghanistan and Australia over other keepers, which shows BCCI selectors interest in him for keeping. He has played 9 T20Is and scored runs at a strike rate of 147.05.

Jitesh will hope for more opportunities to showcase his batting and keeping prowess for Punjab Kings in the IPL 2024, so that he can make a strong impression on the selectors for the Indian team in T20 World Cup 2024. 

2. Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan, wicket-keeper batter to look out for in the IPL 2024 before the T20 World Cup.
Ishan Kishan (Credit - Mumbai Indians Official)

Ishan Kishan has faced sudden fall down the pecking order in India’s plan for the white-ball format. He last played three T20Is against Australia at home. Ishan drew major attention when he had a stellar season in the UAE in the IPL 2020. 

He amassed an aggregate of 516 runs in that season at a strike rate of 145.76, playing a crucial role in winning the title for Mumbai Indians. Ishan received his maiden T20 International cap against England in early 2021. Though in the 32 matches that he has played in T20I for the Indian team, he has not lived up to the standard he sets for himself. 

With a double hundred under his belt in white-ball cricket already, Ishan has the potential to serve as a long-term wicket-keeper in T20Is for India. A good IPL season with the bat and gloves will assist him to move ahead of his competitors for the T20 World Cup contention.

1. KL Rahul

KL Rahul, wicket-keeper and middle-order batter to look out in the IPL 2024 ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024 in June.
KL Rahul (Credit - BCCI Official)

Experienced KL Rahul is one of the top-choice in the contention for the wicketkeeper-batter position in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup. In the absence of Rishabh Pant, Rahul excelled in the role of keeper and middle-order batter in 2023 in ODIs for India. 

He was even picked ahead of Ishan Kishan as the keeping option for the World Cup 2023 and had a wonderful time both with the bat and the gloves. His reputation as a batter is well established and he has the ability to win the matches on his own, be it at the top of the order as an opener or in the middle order.

He will be leading the Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL 2024 and is likely to bat in the middle order and even can be seen behind the stumps instead of Quinton de Kock. This will help him to prove himself in a format where he has not played for a long time and to catch the eyes of the selectors for the inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad for India.

Cover Credit - BCCI Official

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