Management playing with Wriddhiman Saha's career, claims Sandeep Patil
- India ignored Wriddhiman Saha as a wicketkeeper for the two-match Test series against New Zealand.
Wriddhiman Saha was ignored and Rishabh Pant was backed as India's wicketkeeper in the two-match Test series against New Zealand. This was after Saha was given the chance to don the gloves in India's home season, which included Test series against South Africa and Bangladesh.
The team management seems to have decided to back Saha in home conditions and Pant in overseas conditions -- a strategy which former Indian chief selector Sandeep Patil has questioned.
Head coach Ravi Shastri had mentioned after the New Zealand series that Pant was backed because of his batting ability. But Patil believes that by showing less faith in Saha's ability with the bat, the team management is playing with his confidence.
“You are promoting Rishabh Pant, but playing with the career of Wriddhiman Saha,” Patil told mid.day.com
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Saha had been India's first-choice keeper in Tests ever since the retirement of MS Dhoni from the longest format. But a shoulder injury saw him out of the Test team and while he was recovering, Pant grabbed the opportunity with both hands and scored hundreds in England and Australia.
However, Patil claimed that even Saha had the ability to bat and bail his team out in tough situations, giving the example of his hundred against the West Indies in 2016. He was of the opinion that Saha must be backed to be India's first-choice wicketkeeper, irrespective of whether India are playing in home conditions or not.
“Saha will be always be my first choice as wicket-keeper simply because you need experience and he is more experienced. Saha has also always rescued the team so why are you taking away his batting confidence? I know what Saha is capable of; I was in the West Indies when he scored that hundred,” he asserted.Published 04 Mar 2020, 12:40 IST