Ravi Shastri talks of the wicket-keeping scenario with Rishabh Pant when Wriddhiman Saha gets fit

Ravi Shastri talks of the wicket-keeping scenario with Rishabh Pant when Wriddhiman Saha gets fit

In his recent statement, Saha seemed to be positive about the competition with Pant.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Rishabh Pant’s foray into the Test arena could make life difficult for the injured Wriddhiman Saha who was the team’s preferred wicketkeeper since MS Dhoni’s retirement from the long form. After the whitewash against the Windies, Team India’s head coach Ravi Shastri was asked about Pant and who would be the first choice keeper once Saha is fit and available for selection.

Saha who was first injured during the South Africa tour had to undergo a surgery and hasn’t played any cricket since. He further aggravated the injury during the IPL and then, the shoulder injury resurfaced. Hence, he had to undergo a surgery which still keeps him out of action. Saha is undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. In the meanwhile, out of all the options that were tried out, Pant was the one who grabbed the opportunity with both the hands.

You’ve got to go on current form, says Ravi Shastri

In his maiden international Test series, he has impressed everyone with the bat in England. He also got to his maiden Test century in the fifth Test against the Brits where he surged a brilliant fightback alongside KL Rahul. Although his efforts went in vain in that game, Pant sealed a spot for himself behind the wickets.

Yet again, the 21-year-old impressed one and all with his performance in the Windies series. In both the innings that he batted, he got out on 92 runs. The wicketkeeper-batsman missed out on two well-deserved centuries. Hence, a case arises where he will need to work on his temperament. But, at the same time, this will be a huge learning curve for him going ahead.

Pant is another name. He got his opportunity, he grabbed it, now he has consolidated it,” head coach Ravi Shastri said when he was asked about Saha returning and challenging Pant. He also indicated that the youngster could be given the nod ahead of Saha. “You’ve got to go on current form,” Shastri further added.

Wriddhiman Saha hasn’t done anything wrong and was terrific behind the stumps most times. However, Virat Kohli and the head coach Shastri are firm believers of the current form. So, it seems as if the Bengal cricketer will have to work extremely hard if he is to stage a comeback. At the same time, 21-year-old Pant needs to improve on his glovework if he is to sustain his place in the side.

For all the latest cricket news and other updates follow CricTracker.