India head coach Ravi Shastri, on Sunday, hinted that Rishabh Pant will be preferred over Wriddhiman Saha in the playing eleven for the upcoming tour of Australia.
One man’s loss is another man’s gain and something similar is going on in Indian cricket right now. The way Wriddhiman Saha was doing in Tests since replacing retired MS Dhoni, seeing him out of the team was looking like an improbable proposition. However, things took a big turn when Saha suffered some unfortunate injuries this year.
The year began on the worst possible note for Saha. After he scored 0 and 8 in the first Test of the year against South Africa, he suffered a hamstring injury. Consequently, he had to return to India midway through the series. A thumb injury then ruled him out of the IPL final as well as the one-off Test against Afghanistan. And just before the England series, the news of his shoulder injury became public. Later, he underwent a surgery and is still out of action.
On the other hand, Rishabh Pant got the chance during the England series and has not looked back since then. The southpaw got off the mark in Tests with a six before scoring a stunning century in the final Test.
It was followed by a blistering 84-ball 92 runs knock against West Indies in the first Test. The knock paved the way for his maiden ODI call up for the upcoming series against West Indies. And the 21-year old celebrated the call with yet another impressive knock in the second Test by scoring 92.
And when India coach Ravi Shastri was asked about who would he prefer for the Australia tour, he clearly hinted that Pant is ahead of Saha. Shastri made it clear that the team-management will decide the squad by considering the current form which pretty much puts Pant ahead of his senior teammate.
“Pant is another such youngster. He’s such a good batsman and is good with the gloves as well. We have to go on according to the present form for team selection (when asked about Pant or Saha) in Australia,” he said after the win against West Indies.
India’s tour of Australia will get underway in November.