Former chairman of the Indian selection MSK Prasad has raised eyebrows over India’s management’s decision of not playing Rishabh Pant in the first Test against Australia in Adelaide. India decided to play a pure wicketkeeper in Wriddhiman Saha, who they thought is better equipped to catch the pink ball. However, MSK Prasad feels that India should have gone ahead with Rishabh Pant, who is handier with the bat.
Rishabh Pant seemed to have his place sealed for the first Test in Adelaide after he hammered a hundred in the second warm-up match against Australia A. The keeper-batsman’s stellar show in the last Test tour of Australia further bolstered his case; however, India took a gamble and went for Wriddhiman Saha. For all Saha’s brilliance behind the stumps, he managed single-figure scores in the Adelaide that did not help their cause.
MSK Prasad highlighted that Rishabh Pant having centuries in England and Australia makes him the leading contender for the spot. The former chief selector feels that a keeper’s skill comes into play only while performing in the sub-continent. Thus, outside the sub-continent, it should always be Pant.
“We were very clear in our thought process. It was horses for courses. I think Rishabh Pant is the only wicketkeeper-batsman to have scored a hundred against Australia in Australia and a hundred against England in England. But your wickeetping skills are not as tested as they are when playing in sub-continent conditions. So I feel, it should definitely be Rishabh Pant who should be playing ahead of Wriddhiman Saha when you are playing outside the subcontinent,” MSK Prasad said as quoted by India Today.
I don’t know what the Indian team management thought process was: MSK Prasad
MSK Prasad could not decode India’s thought process behind opting for Wriddhiman Saha ahead of Rishabh Pant for the pink-ball Test. The 45-year old predicted that the 22-year old was not fit enough to get the nod and was out of shape.
“Probably, I thought so (India made a mistake). I don’t know what the Indian team management thought process was. I though Rishabh was still not fit; whatever we have seen in the IPL, he was totally out of shape, a different Pant,” he added.