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Selectors retain Parthiv Patel for the fourth Test in Mumbai

Parthiv Patel
Indian batsman Parthiv Patel attends a practice session. (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)

Wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel is likely to benefit from the impressive performance he gave in his comeback match in the third Test against England in Mohali as the team management has decided to keep him in the Indian squad. There is a high probability that he might feature in the fourth test at Mumbai also as regular Wriddhiman Saha, India’s first-choice wicketkeeper, is unlikely to recover in time.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sources state that Saha, who is recovering from a hamstring issue, will not be fit for the Mumbai Test which starts on December 8. The development may have solved any dilemma the selectors may have faced over India’s wicketkeeper’s position.

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Chief selector MSK Prasad told the media in Chennai on Tuesday that Saha remains India’s No. 1Test wicketkeeper and his recovery, coupled with Parthiv’s good work, would have given the selection committee some dilemma about their pick for the next Test. Rumours were also that even if Saha returns, the management was planning to retain him as a specialist opener in the side. Now, with Saha unavailable for selection, it looks like the selectors will stick with Parthiv.

Meanwhile, the Indian team members have left for a short break to their homes. They will be assembling in Mumbai on December 5, three days before the start of the next Test. Ishant Sharma, who is getting married on December 9, has been released from the squad but it is unlikely any replacement will be announced.

A replacement is not required at the moment, anyway as fast bowler Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar are already doing a great job. In the event of a request from the team management, Shardul Thakur is a potential contender but the BCCI wants all the benched players to play the Ranji Trophy.

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