Rishabh Pant vs Sanju Samson vs Ishan Kishan: What do the numbers say?
Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik? The question has been nothing less than a national issue for India. If not Pant or Karthik, Sanju Samson often finds a mention. Ishan Kishan is another name that keeps coming up.
The fact that none of these prolific wicket-keepers have been able to cement their place in the Indian T20 team speaks volumes of how they have performed and how the management has handled them.
Since Dinesh Karthik, in all probability, won't be part of the team during the 2024 T20 World Cup, let's get deep into the numbers of Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan and hopefully by the end of this article, you'll find a winner.
Out of the wicketkeepers mentioned above, Sanju Samson has been given the least amount of opportunities. So far, the RR skipper has appeared in just 16 T20Is for India. Ishan Kishan has played three more T20Is than Samson, while Rishabh Pant has got the most number of opportunities, playing as many as 64 games for the country.
Since all three of them haven't really played the same number of matches, their total number of runs won't make much sense if we compare it. Let's look at their average to understand their performance better.
Samson has played just three matches less than Ishan Kishan, but his average is way below him. Samson's below-par average can also be attributed to the fact that he has never got a consistent run with the team.
Pant, on the other hand, has a poor average after playing more than 60 games for India.
There isn't much difference between Kishan and Samson's strike rate but Rishabh Pant lags in this department too. Sanju Samson has always been the kind of player that doesn't really stay at the crease for long. He plays impact innings and can change the course of the match in just a matter of time.
Ishan Kishan, on the other hand, has always been an attacking batter. Rishabh Pant, though, has been surprisingly disappointing with his strike rate.
Keeping the 2024 T20 World Cup in mind, we may as well see these three competing for the openers slot. Thus, it is only fair to analyse their Powerplay numbers.
In terms of the Strike rate, Pant is ahead of the two as the number stands at 126.11. Sanju Samson has a strike rate of 119, while Ishan Kishan, plays with a strike rate of 121.85.
The rest of the numbers are almost identical for the three. Whether it's the boundary percentage, dot ball percentage or running between the wickets, the three batters, more or less play in the same way.
As with the Powerplay, the numbers here too, are similar. There's just one thing to look at and that is Sanju Samson's running between the wickets. His singles, doubles, and triples account for nearly 56.1% of his runs - more than the other two.
But the fact that his strike rate of 136.37 is also more than the other two, signifies that Samson is more capable to rotate the strike in the middle overs, which can come in handy when the pitches are low and slow.
Strike Rate of The Other Two in The Middle Overs
The bottom line is that the players have identical numbers, well almost. But, these numbers could have been way better. For instance, if Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan would have gotten the same number of opportunities as Pant did, their numbers, as is the case with what we have seen so far, could have been monstrous.
Also Read: IND vs NZ | Rohit Sharma to KL Rahul - List of batsmen with highest scores vs Kiwis in New Zealand
Similarly for Pant, if the management would have cemented him as an opener instead of fiddling around with his position at number 4, 5, and 6, things could have been different.
The team management needs to back the players consistently at positions they are most comfortable in, and where they can be used as per their potential.
Maybe then, we can finally get a wicketkeeper, we have all been waiting for since 2019.
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