Former Indian cricketer Deep Dasgupta feels that Rishabh Pant is not the right choice for the Indian team for the wicket-keeper role. Pant, who was part of the Indian team as the first-choice keeper in the Test series against West Indies, only managed scores of 27, 24 and 7 in the series.
Coming into the series against South Africa, Rishab Pant has racked up a reputation of playing rash shots and getting dismissed at crucial moments. Wriddhiman Saha, who was also named in this squad for the series against South Africa, now stands a chance to replace Pant, should the selectors feel that it's time to give the youngster a reality check. Former Indian cricketer Deep Dasgupta has now backed Saha to be considered as the first choice keeper for the series.
Saha who has been performing well in domestic cricket was tasked with leading the India A team against South Africa in the recently concluded first-class encounter in Mysore. Though the match ended as a draw, Saha had an impressive outing both as a batsman and as a keeper.
“Post his recovery from injury, Wriddhi has delivered and done whatever one has asked of him. There is no shadow of a doubt that he is the best wicket-keeper in the world at present. The only question was whether Wriddhi was a good enough batsman, especially when the team is looking to play five bowlers,” Dasgupta was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Many believe that Pant has been given preference over Saha, due to his superior batting skills, and because team India follows the strategy of playing five bowlers each game. In such a situation most feel that picking someone like Pant, is the safer bet. But Dasgupta is of the opinion that Saha must indeed take the spot purely because of his superior keeping skills.
“Yes, one may ask if Wriddhi is a better batsman than Rishabh… Well, maybe not. Then the question arises that in this format, do you prefer a better keeper or a better batsman? But going by what I saw of Rishabh in the West Indies as far as his keeping is concerned and what’s expected at home in the coming Tests, I would go with Wriddhi,” he added.