The way things have unfolded in the last couple of months or so, it would not be surprising at all if Rishabh Pant ends the tour of Australia without playing a single game. In October, he was dropped from India’s limited-overs squads but retained his spot in the Test team for the ongoing tour.
Fast forward to December 6 and every member of the touring party has got a chance in the playing eleven for at least one game barring Rishabh Pant. The wicketkeeper-batsman was expected to make it to India A’s playing XI for the ongoing three-day first-class fixture against Australia A in Sydney.
However, the team-management decided otherwise and made it clear that Rishabh Pant is no more a first-choice in the Test format either. Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha was preferred ahead of Rishabh Pant in the playing eleven. The Delhi star was the only player who was on the bench for the ongoing clash.
The 23-year old was expected to be the first choice wicketkeeper in Australia because of his Test record in overseas cricket. Earlier this year, he played both the games in New Zealand despite Saha being the wicketkeeper for the entire home season.
But it looks like the team-management has decided to pick the team based on current form. And it won’t be wrong to say that current form does not warrant Rishabh Pant a place ahead of Saha in the playing eleven. While Saha played some fine innings in IPL 2020, Pant looked out of sorts.
Meanwhile, Saha failed to make the chance count on Sunday as he was out for a duck. But despite his failure, it won’t be wrong to say that the Indian team-management has made it clear they are likely to prefer the senior wicketkeeper over Pant in the upcoming Test series.
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