Wriddhiman Saha or Rishabh Pant? Who should be the first-choice wicketkeeper for India in Test cricket? Before the onset of the coronavirus, this was the one question that was on every Indian cricket fan and pundits mind.
The debate was triggered after India opted to play Rishabh Pant over Wriddihiman Saha in the Test series in New Zealand. The reasoning given by the Indian think-tank at that time was that Pant is a good enough keeper against fast bowling and his presence provides more batting depth to the side in overseas conditions.
Former Indian wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra, however, thinks that Saha is a better option than Pant even in overseas conditions as he is equally good against the fast bowlers.
“Wriddhiman Saha has a brilliant pair of hands against the spinners but if you look at his career, he has taken some spectacular catches off fast bowling as well. This means he could be equally good gloveman in the overseas conditions as well,” Ratra told My Khel.
He added: “But I believe that the team management is thinking in terms of making batting stronger overseas because conditions are tougher there. Rishabh (Pant) has done exceedingly well overseas as a batsman,”
‘He’s not a bad batsman’- Ajay Ratra on Wriddhiman Saha
Ratra, alluding to Saha’s three-Test hundreds, also went on to hail Wriddhiman Saha as a decent-enough batsman, while at the same time, he also urged the team-management to pick a more technically-sound keeper in overseas conditions.
“Having said that, I believe Wriddhiman is also a decent batsman and he can be a part of the playing XI in overseas games. I feel that the team management should also consider playing a technically more sound wicketkeeper in overseas conditions because he too can change the course of the game with his catches and fielding. And Wriddhiman fits the bill,” Ajay Ratra said.
“As far as Wriddhiman’s batting is concerned he’s not that bad a batsman. He has three Test centuries to his name and has made vital contributions with the bat whenever needed. Therefore, I would say, Saha looks a better option in Test cricket.” Ratra signed off.
Pant had a forgettable series with the bat in New Zealand as he could manage just 60 runs across four innings and even though his keeping was decent, many former cricketers criticized the management’s call of picking the 21-year-old ahead of Saha.