Stats prove Wriddhiman Saha best international wicket-keeper; Pant not in top five

The Statesman

The Statesman

Author 2019-10-12 17:39:00

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Wriddhiman Saha during the third day's play of the first Test match between India and South Africa at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on October 4, 2019. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM / AFP) / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT

Wriddhiman Saha is the best wicket-keeper in Test cricket and stands way above his national team counterpart Rishabh Pant, says Cricviz, a cricket analysis website.

Saha stands atop in terms of his ability to grab a ball behind the woods against the pacers. He collects 96.9% of the deliveries that come in his way after taking an edge of the batsmen’s willow.

While Sri Lankan gloveman Niroshan Dickwella stands behind him at second with 95.5%, Indian youngster Rishabh Pant relinquishes at the ninth position with 91.6%.

Other than his ball collection skills, the Bengal-based keeper is also found to have the best fielding ability among his glove-working counterparts. The fielding ability checks the amount of run a player contributes to or costs his team in every match.

With a fielding ability range of +5.7, the 34-year-old acquires the prime position in this list as well. Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed follows him at second.

Pant has failed to feature in the top five here again as with a range of -1.7 he lurks behind at seventh. Also, his negative figure indicates that instead of contributing he costs the team an average of 1.7 runs every time he is on the field with his gloves.

Making his return to the Test team after a gap of more than 22 months, Saha put on display the best of his keeping skill after he took a blinder off Umesh Yadav’s bowling to dismiss De Bruyn on the third day of the second Test.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has always been vocal about his case and, time and again, termed him as the best wicket-keeper in the world. Former cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly have also echoed the same.

However, in terms of the run-scoring ability with the willow, Pant, with a batting average of 44.35, stands way above Saha who scores at a meagre rate of 30. Since his debut, only Quinton de Kock possesses a better batting average than Pant.

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