Wriddhiman Saha last featured for Team India in the pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval, post which he was dropped in favor of Rishabh Pant.
Pant has since then gone on to impinge himself as an impregnable part of the Test team due to his series-defining performances in Australia and at home against England to go along with remarkable improvement in his wicketkeeping.
While Pant will continue to remain as India’s first-choice keeper, Harbhajan Singh feels that a brilliant keeper like Wriddhiman Saha is still an ideal backup for the 23-year-old.
“It is a difficult choice but if I have to choose, I will stick with Wriddhiman Saha. He has been with the team for a long time. He is a very safe keeper and has very good hands. Rishabh Pant has grown in stature, not only as a batsman but as a keeper as well and will keep improving as he keeps on playing,” said Harbhajan Singh on Star Sports.
Singh reckoned that while Saha is approaching the wrong side of 30s, he is still very fit and better than most of the youngsters.
“I feel for some time Wriddhiman Saha will have to be kept along with the team. I agree he is 35 years old but the sort of fitness he has, I feel he is still better than most of the youngsters. It is good that we have quite a few options – we have KL Rahul and the bold Ishan Kishan,” added Harbhajan Singh.
Former Indian opener-turned commentator Aakash Chopra responded to Harbhajan Singh by stating that if India picks Wriddhiman Saha in the playing 11, then they will have to forgo their five bowlers theory.
“I agree with you that you may not get a keeper like Wriddhi in the entire world but whenever you play him, you will have to change the team’s composition and will not be able to play five bowlers,” said Chopra.
Harbhajan responded that in such a scenario, he will choose Ishan Kishan as he brings a similar kind of skill-set to the table as Rishabh Pant.
“If you watch closely, Rishabh Pant provides the balance to the team which allows you to play five bowlers because he is a proper batsmen. But when you look towards Wriddhi, the captain is not that confident of playing five bowlers. If the thinking is like that, then I feel Ishan Kishan can be a very good choice because he is a strong batsman and a match-winner. He is also a similar kind of player who plays shots and keeps well also,” concluded Harbhajan Singh.