Wriddhiman Saha to keep wickets for India in first Test against South Africa
Wriddhiman Saha. (Photo: AFP)
India have included right-handed batsman Wriddhiman Saha in place of Rishabh Pant as their wicketkeeper for the first Test of the three-match series against South Africa starting Wednesday in Visakhapatnam.
The announcement was made by skipper Virat Kohli at the press conference on Tuesday. This will be the first time in over a year that Saha will turn out for the Indian Test team.
Notably, Saha last played for India in the first Test of their 2018 tour of South Africa in January as the first-choice wicketkeeper in the longest format of the game but a shoulder injury that required surgery kept him out for more than a year.
“Saha is fit and fine to go and he is going to start for us this series,” Kohli said.
Heaping praises on the wicketkeeper-batsman, the skipper said, “His keeping credentials are there for everyone to see and he has played well for us whenever he has got a chance with the bat. It’s been unfortunate that he was out for such a long period because of an injury. According to me, he is the best keeper in the world. So based on what he has done for us in the past, he starts for us.”
Pant, who became the first Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to score Test centuries in England and Australia, has been struggling with his form.
Meanwhile, India have also excluded Umesh Yadav and have gone with two spinners – Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and two pacers – Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami for the Visakhapatnam Test.
Here is the Indian squad for the first test:
Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ishant Sharma, Md Shami
#TeamIndia for 1st Test of @Paytm Freedom Series for Gandhi-Mandela Trophy against South Africa.
Virat Kohli (Capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Md Shami#INDvSA
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 1, 2019
(With inputs from IANS)