Wriddhiman Saha’s failure in the Adelaide Test has fueled the debate on who should be India’s wicket-keeper batsman for the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne. According to former chairman of selectors MSK Prasad, Rishabh Pant would be the better choice for the remaining matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Prasad pointed out that India cannot compromise on batting strength to have a ‘specialist keeper’ in the team. News agency PTI quoted him as saying:
“Look, our committee was clear that Rishabh Pant will be our first-choice keeper in places like England and Australia. Only when we are looking at matches in India where you don’t need batting after number six most times, you can have a specialist keeper.”
“I believe Rishabh has worked on his fitness issues during the past month and looked in good touch during the pink ball practice game. So I would agree with the team management if they give Rishabh a go for the next three Tests.”
Rishabh Pant vs Wriddhiman Saha: The debate rages on
Questions were raised over Wriddhiman Saha’s selection over Rishabh Pant for the first Test at Adelaide despite the latter’s blistering hundred in the second practice game at Sydney.
36-year-old Wriddhiman Saha managed only 9 and 4 in the two innings at Adelaide. He played a loose stroke to be dismissed in the second innings when the need of the hour was for someone to occupy the crease and play a long knock.
To make matters worse, he also dropped a couple of tough chances behind the stumps.
The argument against Rishabh Pant has been that his wicket-keeping skills are not yet up to the mark. However, his Test batting record is much superior to Wriddhiman Saha.
While Wriddhiman Saha averages 29 from 38 Tests, young Rishabh Pant has an average of 38.76 from 13 matches.
Further, Rishabh Pant has a Test hundred at Sydney, and also managed to get under the skin of the Aussies during the 2018-19 series with his cheeky comments behind the stumps.Published 21 Dec 2020, 12:15 IST