Rishabh Pant Dropped For Wriddhiman Saha & It Could Be A Second Life For The Wicket-Keeper
India is set to take on Faf du Plessis' South African cricket team in the first of three Test matches at Visakhapatnam starting tomorrow onwards. However, one of the biggest dilemmas Indian skipper, Virat Kohli was facing, was to choose between Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha as the wicket-keeper batsman in the Playing XI.
According to Cricbuzz, the captain seems to have made up his mind and gone forward with a rather surprising decision of choosing Saha over Pant.
Wriddhiman Saha will keep for us in this Test series: Virat Kohli #INDvSA— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) October 1, 2019
There is no doubt that Pant is one of the scariest batsmen in the Indian roster when his bat begins to connect with the ball, his recent form, however, has been disappointing in all formats of the game. Case in point, India's tour of the West Indies during which Pant was given an opportunity in ODIs, T20Is and Tests but failed to perform in any of them.
The 21-year-old even failed to impress during the two T20I matches against an under-talented South African side, both in front and behind the wickets.
Ahead of the T20I series against the visiting Proteas, head coach of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri had talked about Rishabh Pant getting a “rap on his knuckles” if he repeated the mistakes he made in the Carribean islands.
Rishabh Pant while batting:#WIvIND#INDvWIpic.twitter.com/8dD0pGEeky— Nikunj (@NBhikadia) August 31, 2019
Even the skipper had issued a warning to the entire squad that everyone will be given a few chances to prove their worth as the next T20 World Cup approaches.
It seems evident that both the coach and the captain have made good on their word as Pant has indeed been replaced by Saha.
This, however, does not take anything away from Saha earning every right to be named in the Playing XI.
Considering the fact that the series is being played in India and Saha is much better with the gloves when it comes to low catches and stumpings, as compared to Pant and his performance with the bat as an India 'A' member has been good if not great, have added to the decision-makers choosing the 34-year-old.
On the other hand, this time away from the field might also help Pant introspect and understand how he can mature as a player, staying away from bad shots and actually become an asset for the team everyone expects him to be.