'We train together and we keep talking' - Wriddhiman Saha opens up on his rivalry with Rishabh Pant

Saha also stated that he tries to help Pant in whatever way possible to improve his game.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Virat Kohli that surprised many experts when Rishabh Pant was picked over Wriddhiman Saha in the first Test against New Zealand last month. Saha was the regular keeper during the Indian home season preceding the New Zealand series and he had performed extremely well behind the stumps during the series against South Africa and Bangladesh at home. His surprise exclusion from the side raised several questions as it turned out India lost the series against New Zealand 2-0.

After this surprise exclusion of Saha, there were speculations that there is a competition going on for the place of the wicketkeeper in the Indian Test side. The 35-year-old keeper from Bengal recently made it clear in an interview that there is no competition between him and Pant. He also made it clear that the two get along very nicely.

We and Rishabh keep joking around, says Wriddhiman Saha

“We (me and Rishabh) keep joking around. We train together and we keep talking about the game and otherwise also. He always tries to give his best. There are few things which we have had a chat about, Saha said in the interview.

“I have told Rishabh a few things which he will try according to his comfort zone. He will try during training. It’s not like he will do it for one day and it will work. So, if he feels those things will work for him, he will try and implement them in his training,” said Saha as quoted by NDTV Sports.

Saha also stated that he tries to help Pant in whatever way possible to improve his game. “It’s not like tips. It’s a discussion. I have told him these are things I follow and it makes my job easier. You can also try them and see if it works for you. See it’s very personal. But yes, we do discuss wicketkeeping.”

When being asked about his exclusion from the XI in the recent Test series, he said, “We all play for India. The team decides the best combination and we have to respect that. I had played the last series, he (Rishabh) did not play. In New Zealand, he played and I did not. Individually, yes we all expect to play. But ultimately the team is first.”

India’s next test series is against Australia away from home later this year. But then, Saha will be 36 years old. Considering the fact that Virat Kohli has had Pant as his prime choice in overseas Test matches, there is uncertainty whether Shah will be back for the series in Australia. Saha, who is spending his quarantine time at home, is contracted to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and will play for the franchise if the IPL starts.