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Saha replaces Pant for first Test against South Africa

Wriddhiman Saha replaces Rishabh Pant for first Test against South Africa
Wriddhiman Saha replaces Rishabh Pant for first Test against South Africa

Wriddhiman Saha takes entry to the Indian team once again. He will replace Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper for India in the first Test of the 3-match series against South Africa starting on October 2.

Why Saha?

On Tuesday Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli confirmed the inclusion of Saha. While talking about Saha, Kohli mentioned him as the best keeper in the world. “Saha’s keeping credentials are there for everyone to see. He’s played well for us whenever he’s got a chance with the bat for us also. It was unfortunate that he was out for such a long period with an injury, and according to me he’s the best keeper in the world. In these conditions, and with what he’s done for us in the past, he’ll start for us.”

He further added how Saha has been a ‘pure keeper in Test cricket’. According to him, it was just about the right opportunity to bring back Saha in the squad and this is the right time. “Saha was always someone who we would back as a pure keeper in Test cricket. He’s done well under pressure situations for us. It was all about finding the right opportunity and the moment to bring him back in. You need to be wary of these things in a team environment where you understand when to bring a player back or when to give another guy more opportunities.” Virat opined, “I feel for now it is the right time for Saha to come back and get into his own and we all know what he can do with the gloves and with the bat as well under pressure situations.”

Why not Pant?

While asked about Rishabh Pant’s exclusion, the skipper said, “Yes, we felt like Rishabh given the opportunities had done well. Although Saha was almost going to start, we felt that it was better to let him ease back into things rather than forcing him to start immediately. We all felt that he’s just come back, although he’s keeping well, he’s batting well, we felt that it was fair to give Rishabh a few more opportunities because of what he has done in the past season for us.”

In 32 Tests, Wriddhiman Saha has scored 1164 runs including three hundred and five fifties. Post his last match against South Africa in Cape Town Saha was injured and Rishabh Pant was fulfilling the duty in his absence.

Meanwhile, Pant was declared as the future keeper batter of Indian cricket team across the formats and was being groomed accordingly. But his shot selection and the way of throwing wickets irked the team management eventually.

India’s Playing XI

Virat Kohli (C), Mayank AgarwalRohit SharmaCheteshwar PujaraAjinkya Rahane, Hanuma VihariRavichandran AshwinRavindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Mohammed ShamiIshant Sharma

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Written by Shreyasi Talukdar

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