India’s wicketkeeper for the longest format of the game Wriddhiman Saha has been ruled out of the ongoing Test series against South Africa. He had suffered an upper left hamstring tendon injury in the training session ahead of the 2nd Test in Centurion.
Saha had to miss the 2nd Test and the backup keeper Parthiv Patel was included in the playing XI. Now that Saha will take no further part in the series, the selectors have announced a replacement for him. Dinesh Karthik will fly to South Africa to fill in for Wriddhiman Saha.
Saha has been India’s first choice keeper for Test cricket as he is safe as houses. After MS Dhoni’s retirement from the red ball cricket, the 33-year-old has cemented his place in the side due to his outstanding skills with the gloves. His technique to keep for the spinners on turning tracks has been highly praised.
He had a good outing behind the stumps even in the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town but he couldn’t contribute a lot with the bat as he scored 0 and 8 in the first and second innings respectively.
His replacement Parthiv has had a torrid time so far in the 2nd Test as he dropped a couple of chances and couldn’t come to the fore with the bat either. It will now be interesting to see whether he retains his place in the XI for the final Test in Johannesburg.
The Indian team might well slot Karthik directly in the playing XI given his better ability with the bat. The right-hander has been in the mix for the Men in Blue in the limited overs cricket for quite some time but he last played a Test match back in 2010. If he does well in the Rainbow Nation, this could well mark his comeback in whites as well.