Wriddhiman Saha had to bide his time when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s star shone long and bright. It was only in 2014 when Dhoni retired from Test cricket did the door open for Saha to make his name as India’s first-choice wicketkeeper.
Saha flourished on the big stage until a hamstring injury ruled him out of the second Test in South Africa in January 2018. A few more injuries followed, forcing him out of action for more than a year. While Saha watched from the sidelines, Rishabh Pant established himself as an exciting wicketkeeper-batsman.
Team India is currently preparing for the first Test of the three-match series against South Africa to be played in Visakhapatnam from October 2.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri has a lot to think about the playing XI for the series opener.
Given that their side has lost Jasprit Bumrah to an injury, they need to choose as to who will keep wickets in the match – Rishabh Pant or Wriddhiman Saha.
As per reports, the selectors wish to give another chance to Pant, despite his failure to score big in the two away Tests against the West Indies. Even the chief selector MSK Prasad had anointed Pant as the first-choice keeper across all formats for India.
However, the team management comprising of captain Kohli and coach Shastri feels that experienced Saha should be given a place for the first Test match against the Proteas.
“The selectors are in a mood to give one final chance to Pant in the first Test, but the team management (Shastri and Kohli) wants Saha to play from the start of the series itself,” a source was quoted as saying by TOI.
“The problem is, Pant’s lack of success with the bat is hurting his confidence while keeping wickets too. His DRS reviews aren’t great. In Indian conditions, on turning wickets, he may struggle. Saha is a far better ‘keeper than him’, and get a few useful runs lower down the order too,” the source added.