Will Saha replace Pant in first Test against South Africa?
The Indian cricket team is all set to face South Africa in the first Test match, starting October 2. One interesting aspect is Wriddhiman Saha getting the nod as the wicket-keeper batsman in the side ahead of Rishabh Pant. According to a report in The Times of India, the team management is keen to give Saha the opportunity. Here's more.
Pant hasn't enjoyed the best of form in recent times
The 21-year-old Pant scored just 4 and 19, in the two T20Is against South Africa which ended in 1-1. Prior to that, the youngster also failed to get runs on the board in the Test series against West Indies earlier this month. According to the report, Saha is set to replace Pant when India face SA in the first Test at Vizag.
'Team management want Saha to play against SA'
"The selectors are in a mood to give one final chance to Pant in the first Test, but the team management coach (Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli) want Saha to play from the start of the series itself," said sources to TOI.
Why could the team prefer Saha over Pant?
There is a feeling that Pant might struggle against SA. "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.
Team management to back Pant to the hilt: Shastri
Earlier, coach Ravi Shastri had said Pant needs to play sensible cricket as he is letting the team down. Shastri then told Hindustan Times, the team is willing to have a lot of patience with Pant and he is in a great space with this Indian team. He also said the Indian team management will back him (Pant) to the hilt.
Pant is the future but Saha needs to play
Pant is young and has the time behind him him to keep learning. It is crucial for the management to keep backing him and one hopes that Pant cashes in. He is a sheer talent and one needs to be patient. However, time is running out for veteran Saha. To hand him much-needed game time and allowing him to groom Pant will be helpful.