India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli confirms Wriddhiman Saha as wicketkeeper for the series
Saha last featured in a Test match, also against South Africa at Newlands back in 2018 before an injury put him out of the game for a sustained period.
Updated - Oct 1, 2019 12:46 pm
Every time a home Test season starts, there is a sense of invincibility that engulfs Indian cricket. The Invincibility that almost supersedes to the point of inevitability. It is the start of the home season with the visiting Proteas set to lock horns with the No.1 Test team in the World, Team India.
The 3-match Test series will kick start at Visakhapatnam on October 2nd. Last time the Proteas were in India [in 2015], their star-studded batting boasting of perennial legends like AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla was thumped emphatically to the tue of 0-3 by the spin of Ashwin and Jadeja, and with their 2019 side boasting of a lot of youngsters, the onus will be on Faf du Plessis and Aiden Markram to lead the way with the bat.
As for the hosts, apart from the fact that Rohit Sharma will kickstart his journey of salvaging his Test career by opening the batting, few questions galore about the Indian line-up. First: Will India go-in with 5 batsmen + Keeper + 2 spinners or will they go with six batsmen + keeper + 2 spinners + 2 bowlers? And, who will be the two spinners? Will Ashwin finally make a comeback into the Playing XI, courtsey his stupendous home record? And, who will be the wicketkeeper?
Kohli clears the air on Saha and Pant
If someone had asked these questions a few months earlier, it would have been a no-brainer. Rishabh Pant may have floundered with the bat in white-ball cricket but his returns in Test cricket have been stupendous. The southpaw has two Test hundreds to his name that too in Australia and England and a couple of the nineties which he scored at home last year.
However, the past few months have seen the stock of Rishabh Pant take a considerable hit. His form and especially his shot selection has come under intense scrutiny, so much so, that questions galore about his place in the Test cricket.
And, the fact that Wriddhiman Saha is back with full fitness, make things worse for the left-hander. Saha, who had to sit out of the Test series in the Caribbean is a technically gifted wicket-keeper; something that is a rarity these days. His precocious wicketkeeping skills, especially against spinners on low and slow turners in India, is exemplary, something that has gone in favor of him finally.
Skipper Virat Kohli confirmed on the eve of the Test match that Wriddhiman Saha will keep the gloves in the whole Test series against South Africa. Coincidently, Saha, who has featured in 32 Tests thus far, last featured in a Test match, also against South Africa at Newlands back in 2018 before an injury put him out of the game for a sustained period.