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How India’s T20 WC Hopefuls Have Fared In Comparison To Dhoni In IPL 2024

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 has seen plenty of players making their case through strong performances to be selected for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies. One particular area that’s seen lots of debate regarding who the right personnel for the position would be is India’s wicketkeeping slot. While there have been a few glovemen making strong cases for their selection in the squad through their IPL 2024 performances, one Indian wicketkeeper who seems to be hogging the limelight every time he steps out to the middle to bat is the legendary MS Dhoni.

Dhoni, who won a T20 as well as a 50-over World Cup as India skipper and was the last man to lead the country to an ICC trophy following the 2013 Champions Trophy triumph, has looked in scintillating form with the bat in IPL 2024.

Despite not spending much time at the crease as a result of him coming into bat lower down the order when there aren’t many overs left, Dhoni has made the most of his limited opportunities in vintage fashion. He’s been in devastating form with the bat this year and has made 96 runs off 37 balls in nine matches with a strike rate of 260. As a wicketkeeper, Dhoni has taken six catches behind the stumps.

Dhoni, in fact, has not been dismissed in IPL 2024 yet and has stayed not out on seven occasions. He’s been in belligerent form with the bat, smashing bowlers to all parts of the park while wasting no time in the middle to get his eye in by being on the attack from ball one. His double digit scores for Chennai Super Kings this season has witnessed him make a nine-ball 28 against LSG, a 16-ball 37 against DC, and a stunning four-ball 20 against MI.

Had any other wicketkeeper shown such devastating form, he’d certainly have been in the reckoning for India’s T20 squad. However, since Dhoni has retired from international cricket, the onus will be on India’s younger glovemen who are battling for selection. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how India’s current wicketkeeping options for the 2024 T20 World Cup compare to Dhoni in terms of their IPL 2024 performances.

Rishabh Pant

After being away from the game for more than a year due to a serious car accident, Delhi Capitals’ skipper has returned with a bang in IPL 2024. He’s made 371 runs in ten matches at an average of 46.38 and a strike rate of 160.61, including three fifties this season. Pant has also made 11 dismissal as a wicketkeeper – 11 catches and three stumpings. One of the most impressive glovemen in IPL 2024, Pant has also remained not out twice – four times fewer than Dhoni this season – and deserves to be a frontrunner to make the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup.

Sanju Samson

A leading candidate to be the back-up wicketkeeper for India at the T20 World Cup, Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson is enjoying one of his best IPL seasons yet. He’s made 385 runs at an average of 77.00 and a strike rate of 161.09, including four fifties. As a wicketkeeper, Samson has made seven dismissals- six catches and one stumping. Capable of staying in the middle and finishing innings like Dhoni, Samson has remained unbeaten three times in IPL 2024 – three times fewer than the CSK skipper.

KL Rahul

KL Rahul has had a decent IPL 2024 season with the bat having made 378 runs in nine games at an average of 42.00 and a strike rate 144.27. He’s scored three fifties but hasn’t stayed not out in any of the games, primarily due to the fact that he’s an opener. As a wicketkeeper, Rahul has made 11 dismissals- nine catches and two stumpings. However, KL Rahul’s chances of making the squad as a gloveman aren’t high and it is easy to understand why while comparing his strike rate with that of Dhoni, whose scoring rate is above 250 even though he’s spent much less time in the middle than Rahul, who bats in the powerplay overs.

Ishan Kishan

Part of past T20I squads for India, wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan could have been in the reckoning for the Men in Blues squad but he hasn’t had the best of IPL seasons so far. He has made just 212 runs in nine matches at an average of 23.56 and a strike rate of 165.63. As a wicketkeeper, Ishan has taken seven catches, While his strike rate isn’t bad, it just goes on to highlight the incredible form that Dhoni has been in during IPL 2024 with a strike rate of 260 to show for his efforts.

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