India vs South Africa: Wriddhiman Saha to replace Rishabh Pant in 1st Test?
Rishabh Pant’s struggled in the away West Indies series, and the home series against South Africa, has raised a lot of question on the youngster’s ability to replace MS Dhoni as India’s first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman. The 21-year-old scored just 4 and 19, in the two T20Is against Proteas, and also failed to get runs on the board in the Test series against West Indies earlier this month. Now, according to report, Wriddhiman Saha is set to replace Pant when India take on South Africa in the 1st Test at Vizag from October.
According to sources cited by Times of india, “The selectors are in a mood to give one final chance to Pant in the first Test, but the team management coach (Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli) want Saha to play from the start of the series itself.”
Also read: Pant is special, will back him to the hilt,’ Ravi Shastri
“The problem is, Pant’s lack of success with the bat is hurting his confidence while keeping wickets too. His DRS reviews aren’t great. In Indian conditions, on turning wickets, he may struggle. Saha is a far better ‘keeper than him, and get a few useful runs lower down the order too,” the source further said in the report.
Meanwhile, in an interview to Hindustan Times, coach Shastri backed Pant and said that the left-handed batsman is a match-winner.
Also read: Not Rishabh Pant, former India player names best keeper for Test series
“Pant is different, he is world class and is a brutal match-winner. Very few around in the world game; I can’t pick five on my hands when it comes to white-ball cricket, T20 cricket. So the patience we will have with him is a lot. All your media reports and all the experts writing (but) Pant is in great space with this Indian team. Experts, they have a job, they can speak. Pant is a special kid and he has already done enough. And he is only going to learn. This team management will back him to the hilt,” he said.