What’s the story?
MSK Prasad, the chairman of selectors has said that Wriddhiman Saha will get his place back in the Indian team for the upcoming series against Australia. Saha was out injured for the final three matches against England, and Parthiv Patel was included in the squad.
Prasad made it clear that the Irani Trophy match was only to test his fitness and that they were not concerned about his form.
"We had made it clear that someone who is coming back from injury, had to play in a domestic game and this was the best opportunity. Right now Saha and Parthiv are the best Nos 1 and 2 that we have. It was only to test fitness that we had Saha play here," Prasad was as quoted by PTI.
In case you didn’t know...
Saha had established himself as India’s number 1 wicket-keeper in Test cricket, but he was sidelined owing to a thigh injury, and Parthiv Patel was drafted into the squad.
The Gujarat captain responded with a few stellar innings, both as an opener and then in the middle order. His performance as a wicket-keeper was not as secure. However, there were reports that Parthiv would continue as the wicket-keeper for the series against Australia, but this statement by the chief selector could put all speculations to rest.
The heart of the matter
Both Parthiv and Saha were part of the Irani Cup clash between Gujarat and Rest of India.
While Parthiv was brilliant as the captain and batsman of Gujarat, Saha stole the thunder with his brilliant double century in the second innings, which helped Rest of India chase a humongous total of 379. He combined beautifully with his captain Cheteshwar Pujara and together, the duo put on a match-winning partnership which was worth an unbeaten 316.
This innings has cemented his spot in the Test side, and will give him plenty of confidence going forward.
Prasad also said that he believes that the glovework of Saha is slightly better than Parthiv, and the batting of both the players presents a sweet headache for the selectors, which bodes well for Indian cricket.
He also said that if there is competition between two wicket-keepers, the one with the better glovework would always get the nod.
With these clear signs, it is certain that the Bengal player would get his position back once the Test series begins. Also, Parthiv could be in the squad as a reserve wicket-keeper owing to his bright performances against England.
This is certainly a good move by the selectors as they want to maintain continuity in the selection process, and hence the inclusion of Saha in the squad would only be an extension of this philosophy.