Former Indian wicket-keeper throws weight on Wriddhiman Saha over under-fire Rishabh Pant
The upcoming India-South Africa Test series is keenly awaited. After the 1-1 T20I series, both sides will lock horns in what will be Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team's second series in ICC Test Championship, whereas the Proteas' debut in the Test Championship. While the home side has already been dealt with a major blow in the form of Jasprit Bumrah's injury, there are several questions still to be answered by the team management with regards to the team combination.
In all likelihood, Rohit Sharma will open the innings with Mayank Agarwal. But, there remains to be seen whether young Shubman Gill will make an appearance, if the team will prefer Rishabh Pant or Wriddhiman Saha, or vice-versa.
Like many, former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta was also in a dilemma on who should get the nod between Pant and Saha. However, he gave his final verdict analysing both the wicketkeepers' recent outings and form.
He told, "Post his recovery from injury, Wriddhi has delivered and done whatever one has asked of him. There is no shadow of doubt that he is the best wicketkeeper in the world at present. The only question was whether Wriddhi was a good enough batsman, especially when the team is looking to play five bowlers. Now, from the batting perspective, ever since Wriddhi’s comeback, he has scored runs every time he has gone out to bat. He has performed for India A consistently,
Yes, one may ask if Wriddhi is a better batsman than Rishabh… Well, maybe not. Then the question arises that in this format, do you prefer a better keeper or a better batsman? But going by what I saw of Rishabh in the West Indies as far as his keeping is concerned and what’s expected at home in the coming Tests, I would go with Wriddhi."
Pant's poor form has been a concern, especially in limited-overs. However, he has done reasonably well in the red-ball cricket both as a batsman and gloveman. On the other hand, Saha played an instrumental role in India's success in their long home season in 2016.
Hence, it will be interesting to see who makes the cut in the playing XI when India and South Africa meet for the Test series opener, on October 2 at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam.