We Are Grooming Backups For Rishabh Pant, Says Chief Selector MSK Prasad
After the T20I series against South Africa that ends on Sunday, Rishabh will straightaway take the field for Delhi for two Vijay Hazare Trophy matches before joining the Test squad for the series that starts on October 2.
In Test cricket, the Indian team does have backups for him but in white-ball cricket, there is no such backup due to the absence of MS Dhoni. India chief selector MSK Prasad has said that the selectors are already hunting for Rishabh’s backup and are monitoring his workload as well.
“We are monitoring the workload of Rishabh. Of course, we have been grooming backups across all formats. We have the young KS Bharath doing well in the longer format for India A. We also have Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson doing well in the shorter formats for India ‘A’ and domestic cricket,” he told Indianexpress.com.
Rishabh has been the sole wicketkeeper for India in white-ball cricket since World Cup 2019 and also kept wickets in two Test matches against West Indies. He will also be the first choice during the home series against South Africa but should he fail to perform well, Wriddhiman Saha can take his place.
India do not usually select two wicketkeepers in the squad for home series and the selection of Saha is a clear indication that the selectors are looking at him should Rishabh not do well in the initial matches.
Rishabh’s form has been under the scanner for a while now but it is also a fact that the team does not have a ready to go wicketkeeper-batsman to replace him in the squad.
The third and the final T20I of the series will be played on Sunday in Bangalore. Later, the two teams will play three Test matches in Vizag, Pune and Ranchi from October 2, 10 and 19, respectively.