Wriddhiman Saha To Edge Out Rishabh Pant For Playing XI Spot Against South Africa: Report
Wriddhiman Saha looks set to end his exile from international cricket. As per a report in Mumbai Mirror, he might edge out regular Rishabh Pant for a place in the playing XI for the opening Test of the series against South Africa, that starts on August 2.
The selection committee has left the decision to the team management, which is expected to prefer Saha over Rishabh, the report adds.
The inclusion of two wicketkeepers for a home series came as a big surprise at the outset and as it turns out to be, Rishabh could be dropped from the playing XI even after his superlative performances in the longest format of the game.
After an injury to Saha on the tour of South Africa earlier in 2018, selectors called back Dinesh Karthik. He played thee Tests in total before being replaced by Rishabh in playing XI during England tour.
The youngster struck century in the fifth and the final Test of the series. He continued his run against West Indies at home and scored 184 runs in two Tests.
On the tour of Australia, Rishabh scored 350 runs, more than Virat Kohli’s tally. This also includes a century in the Sydney Test.
However, he has been under the spotlight for his shot selection. Rishabh has already been under pressure in white-ball cricket and now, could lose his place in the playing XI in Tests.
Saha had made his comeback to the national side for the tour of West Indies. Rishabh played both the Tests over Saha, but given the latter’s wicketkeeping skills, it is nearly impossible for the team management to keep him out of playing XI.
If Saha plays in Vizag, it will be his first Test since January 2018. His last Test appearance had come against South Africa in the opening Test of the three-match series. At first, he was ruled out of the second Test and was later ruled out of the series.
Both Rishabh and Saha are currently part of their respective state sides for the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy and will join the national camp soon.
India and South Africa play three-match Test series from October 2. Vizag, Pune and Ranchi will host three Test matches.