‘Disappointed’ – Harsha Bhogle lashes out at Indian team management for picking Rishabh Pant ahead of Wriddhiman Saha
Saha kept the wickets for Virat Kohli's side in the entire home season but, he was dropped from the team in Pant's favor for the first Test against New Zealand.
Updated - Feb 21, 2020 1:01 pm
Indian cricket commentator, Harsha Bhogle called out the Indian team management for including Wriddhiman Saha in the playing XI for the first Test match against New Zealand. Harsha was extremely disappointed with the decision of playing Rishabh Pant ahead of Saha. According to him, the team management has let down every upcoming wicketkeeper of the country.
The first Test between India and New Zealand got underway in Wellington with the home side dominating the first day of the match. Debutant Kyle Jamieson sent Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Hanuma Vihari back to the pavilion as the visitors were left reeling at 122/5 when rain forced the umpires to end the day’s play early.
“Feel bad for Saha” – Harsha Bhogle
Rishabh Pant had grabbed the headlines by becoming the first Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to hit a hundred in England and Australia. He had all but cemented his place in the Indian Test team with his heroics, however, a poor run with the bat in West Indies gave Wriddhiman Saha one more opportunity to don the whites for the nation.
Saha kept the wickets for Virat Kohli’s side in the entire home season but, he was dropped from the team in Pant’s favor for the first Test against New Zealand. Here’s how Harsha Bhogle reacted to this decision:
Don't get me wrong. This isn't about Pant. Just think in tests you pick your best five batsmen, best four bowlers, best keeper and think about a secondary skill for number six, if at all. I hope he does well because he is a gifted young player but feel for Saha. #Lastword. https://t.co/OJwatdbLeb
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 21, 2020
The cricket expert woke up early in the morning for the Test match when he found out that Saha was not a part of the playing XI. He opined that the team management ended the hopes of every upcoming wicketkeeper in India by sending a message that the batting skills matter more than wicketkeeping skills.
He later clarified that he was not against the inclusion of Rishabh Pant but, Saha could fit perfectly in the team combination. He even hoped that Pant performs well in the game besides expressing his sorrow for Saha’s exclusion.
India in deep trouble
At the end of the first day’s play, India’s score is just 122/5 after 55 overs. Rishabh Pant and Ajinkya Rahane are still out there in the middle. The left-handed batsman is on 10* while the Indian vice-captain has aggregated 38 runs in 122 balls. The duo will have to build a big partnership on day 2 to lift the Indian team and take the total near 300.