Wriddhiman Saha was told by the Indian team management that he would not be considered for selection as they were looking for a new backup wicket-keeping option for Rishabh Pant. Dinesh Karthik, India’s other wicket-keeper, has said that the decision would have been very hard for Saha to digest.
Wriddhiman Saha, India’s 37-year-old wicket-keeper, was left out from the Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against Sri Lanka, starting from March 4 in Mohali. Instead, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has picked Rishabh Pant and KS Bharat as wicketkeepers. Later, Saha revealed that he was told by India’s present head coach Rahul Dravid that the team management would look to move on from him and will groom Bharat on the sidelines.
India’s other wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik, while speaking to the ICC, praised Saha for his immense contributions to Indian cricket, adding that he still rates him as the best with the big gloves behind the stumps.
“I'm pretty sure from wherever I've seen with Wriddhiman's interviews, he understands where this decision is coming from. I know no cricketer is going to accept that when you're being told to move on. It is a very hard one because this is what they've been doing day in and day out,” Karthik told ICC.
“Kudos to Wriddhiman Saha. I think he has been one of those brilliant, quiet servants of Indian cricket who has done so well over a period of years.
“He is still one of the best wicket keepers in the world, by a distance -- I rate him as the best wicketkeeper in the world. He has got great hands, he moves really well... he is a terrific wicketkeeper. And add to the fact, he has a few centuries in international cricket and played some really crucial, important knocks when Team India needed it,” Karthik added.
Saha, since making his debut for India against South Africa in 2010, represented the country in 40 Tests, claiming 92 catches and 12 stumpings.