Rishabh Pant vs Wriddhiman Saha: The former wicket-keeper has passed verdict on who should play in the next Test match.
Wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha’s comeback into the Test team was always going to bring along conundrum regarding who will keep wickets between him and Rishabh Pant.
Post former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement from Test cricket, Saha had become a regular for India in the format. While Saha’s Test batting average of 30.63 isn’t something to boast about, he mostly covered it up with his exceptional wicket-keeper skills.
A series of injuries to Saha followed by Pant scoring Test hundreds in England and Australia last year changed the scenario altogether. While Pant’s batting looked enough to pin down Saha’s wicket-keeping for the first Test, it was what eventually happened.
However, former India wicket-keeper batsman Syed Kirmani believes that Pant still needs to learn a lot as far as wicket-keeping is concerned. Speaking to PTI on the sidelines of the launch of six outlets of Hearing Solutions, Kirmani claimed the wicket-keeper’s spot to be the most position on the field.
“Yeh [Rishabh Pant] abhi jhule main hai (He is still in his infancy). But he is god-gifted but needs to learn a lot. It’s the most difficult position on the field. Not everyone can do keeping by just wearing a pair of gloves,” Kirmani was quoted as saying.
Rishabh Pant vs Wriddhiman Saha
Being asked about who out of Pant or Saha should India play in Tests, Kirmani strongly spoke in the latter’s favour highlighting his domestic performances. Kirmani also put forward the usual norm of an injured player getting his position back in the team upon recovery.
Rishabh Pant – 47 dismissals in 10 Tests [45 catches & 2 stumpings]
The record for quickest to 50 dismissals as keeper is shared between Mark Boucher, Jonny Bairstow and Tim Paine in 10 Tests.
Pant fell three dismissals short of the record! #WIvIND
— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) August 25, 2019
“[Wriddhiman] Saha unfortunately had some injury problems. He has to be given equal opportunity. What’s the point of keeping him in the side if you do not give him chance?
“We have to judge on pure performance. Saha came to Indian side following his consistency at domestic level. But when you’re out of picture, somebody else takes over your place, so the likes of Karthik and Pant came into the picture. Now we have to see who’s is more consistent on the field — be it in batting, wicketkeeping or in terms of all-round abilities,” Kirmani added.