Written byParth Dhall ·
Following the limited-overs leg, the focus shifts on the longest format as India and New Zealand are all set to lock horns in the two-match Test series.
The first Test will commence on February 21 at Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Rishabh Pant's confidence has undoubtedly plunged big time after a string of low scores.
An untimely concussion ruled him out of the first ODI earlier this year against Australia, following which he was replaced by KL Rahul.
Pant has warming the bench ever since.
Besides, his 65-ball 70 in the practice match against New Zealand XI must have surely grabbed eyeballs.
He picked up a shoulder injury during India's South Africa tour in 2018.
However, Pant's poor form in Test cricket paved the way for him last year.
Often touted as MS Dhoni's successor, Saha hasn't batted much since his Test return.
Pant holds the record of most dismissals (11) in a Test by a wicket-keeper. He achieved the feat during the Australian tour in 2018. Earlier that year, he also became the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test century in England.
Interestingly, the 11-Test old Pant already has two overseas centuries to his name (114 vs England, 2018 and 159* vs Australia, 2019).
But his shortcomings against swing and seam has often dented his consistency lately.
Meanwhile, Saha averages a meagre 29.47 in overseas Tests, however, he carries the propensity to rescue the team and take the game deep.
Pant's unorthodox wicket-keeping style has quite often costed India runs behind the stumps.
His frailties were exposed during India's home season last year.
Paradoxically, a conventional and technically sound Wriddhiman Saha has always been brilliant for India with his meticulous glove work.
Nevertheless, the wicket-keepers will be mostly standing back in the Test, taking into account New Zealand's seamer-friendly decks.
Although the budding Rishabh Pant could turn the match single handedly in the blink of an eye, India must not ignore Saha's contribution behind the wicket.
'Catches win matches' and Saha isn't known to drop many.
Apart from being a safe wicket-keeper, Saha is also a potent number 7 batsman who could be effective in testing conditions.
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