As the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad for the T20 World Cup 2024, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson found a spot each, thanks to their exemplary performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. While both are in the 15-man roster for the global event, only one of them will make the cut for the playing XI for the sole spot behind the stumps. When Gautam Gambhir, current Kolkata Knight Riders mentor, was asked about his preference, he had a clear take.

“While Pant has batted in the middle order in IPL, Sanju has batted in the top order,” he told Sportskeeda in a chat, explaining the importance of the left-hander in the middle-order, to complement the likes of Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Virat Kohli.

“Pant being a left-hander batter can bring variety to the team’s middle order,” he asserted.

While Sanju Samson can play as the No. 4 or No. 5 batter too, Gambhir feels the fact that Pant is a natural selection for the role, gives him the edge over the Rajasthan Royals captain.

“Looking at Team India’s combination, we need the wicketkeeper in that position and not in the top order,” he affirmed.

Gambhir didn’t shy away from admitting that Samson has been a more consistent performer with the bat for Rajasthan this IPL. If this aspect is considered more, he would get the nod over Pant.

“But again, if they see that Sanju can score more runs at number six or seven, they could go with him as well,” said the KKR mentor.

“Whoever plays, I think we should back that player,” he concluded.

In the league campaign, Samson has been clearly ahead of Pant as a batter. Samson has 486 runs to his name in 12 matches for RR this season while Pant has 446 runs in 13 matches for DC.

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