Rishabh Pant’s poor form has turned out to be a massive headache for the Indian team management. Albeit the southpaw has done well in Tests, his limited-overs form has been shambolic to say the least. Ever since the 65* he got versus the West Indies in Guyana, he has played a total of six games at the highest level, combining all the formats in which his top score was 33.
The 21-year-old has now been picked for the three-match Test series versus South Africa, scheduled to get underway on October 2 in Visakhapatnam. Ahead of the red-ball fixtures, Deep Dasgupta, the former Indian cricketer, had a bit of a dilemma regarding who between Pant and Wriddhiman Saha should play the series. He hailed Saha as the best wicket-keeper in the world currently.
Saha has performed for India A consistently
“Post his recovery from injury, Wriddhi has delivered and done whatever one has asked of him. There is no shadow of doubt that he is the best wicketkeeper in the world at present. The only question was whether Wriddhi was a good enough batsman, especially when the team is looking to play five bowlers,” Dasgupta was quoted as saying in The Telegraph.
Saha last represented India in the tour of South Africa in early 2018. He went to the Caribbean recently only to warm the benches. Dasgupta said that Saha has done every bit with the bat ever since his comeback. “Now, from the batting perspective, ever since Wriddhi’s comeback, he has scored runs every time he has gone out to bat. He has performed for India A consistently,” he stated.
He accepted that Pant is a far better batsman that Saha. But Dasgupta also said that he would go with the experience of Saha in home conditions after how Pant has performed in recent times. He went for Saha purely on the basis of his skills behind the wickets.
“Yes, one may ask if Wriddhi is a better batsman than Rishabh… Well, maybe not. Then the question arises that in this format, do you prefer a better keeper or a better batsman? But going by what I saw of Rishabh in the West Indies as far as his keeping is concerned and what’s expected at home in the coming Tests, I would go with Wriddhi,” he added.
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