Former Australia captain, Ricky Ponting was left shocked after India opted for Wriddhiman Saha over Rishabh Pant as the wicket-keeper batsman in the ongoing opening Test against Australia in Adelaide.
Pant played over the Saha in the Test series in New Zealand; he also scored a scintillating century in the second warm-up match- however, the Bengal keeper gets the nod over the left-hander. It is believed that since Saha is a better gloveman than Pant, hence the right-hander is selected over the southpaw.
Rishabh Pant is a terrific young player: Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting expressed his surprise at Pant being not picked in the first Test. Ponting opined that Pant is a terrific youngster and is awed by the left-hander’s preternatural talent.
Ricky Ponting has worked with the southpaw during his stint as a head coach for Delhi Capitals in the IPL. The 45-year-old understands that Saha being a better keeper than Pant could be the only reason for his exclusion.
“I’m surprised [that Rishabh Pant wasn’t picked]. I think he’s a terrific young player, X-factor about him with the bat. Probably, not as good a keeper as [Wriddhiman] Saha and that’s probably the reason they’ve left him out,” Ricky Ponting said during his commentary stint with Channel 7.
The 23-year-old has had a professional career of extreme highs and lows: from smashing centuries in the IPL and batting at the important number 4 position in the World Cup semi-final to now not even in the white-ball squad; from being the only Indian wicket-keeper to notch a Test hundred in England and Australia to being overlooked for a place in the eleven.
Pant had a mediocre IPL 2020 as he batted with a strike rate of just 113- which is well below his career IPL strike rate of 151. He is one of the most dynamic batsmen in the world and with time and age on his side, with better guidance and faith by the management, Pant should be able to make it back in the playing eleven for the national side across formats.