India will play their first Test of the home season next week when they will be hosting South Africa in a three-mach series, starting October 2. Barring Rohit Sharma’s move to the top of the order, there are no surprises expected in team India’s playing XI and almost every plyer selects himself, barring Rishabh Pant, who will face tough competition from senior Wriddhiman Saha.
The latter had been out of action for a long time not once he made a comeback to the national team for the tour of West Indies, it became difficult for the team management to ignore him. Rishabh did get a nod over him in the West Indies but in the home season, the team management is expected to pull off a surprise by dropping Rishabh for Saha.
Ahead of the first Test, here’s a look at who of these two players will get a place in the playing XI –
Wriddhiman Saha –
His wicketkeeping skills have seen him become team management’s favourite and Saha holds a bright chance to replace Rishabh the playing XI. His wicketkeeping skills are unmatched and Saha is often compared to MS Dhoni.
With India set to be given rank-turners during the series, the home side will require an experienced wicket-keeper behind the stumps and in all likeliness, Saha will walk into playing XI.
His previous Test came on the tour of Sout Arica in January 2018. He did make his comeback for West Indies tour but there, Rihabh got the nod. Saha, since his comeback, has played three matches for India A and a couple of a List A matches for Bengal.
Rishabh Pant –
The youngster has surpassed all the expectations with his batting display in the longest format. The only Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to score a century in England and Australia, Rishabh has been at the top of his form in red-ball cricket but the recent criticism from Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri might see him miss out on a place in playing XI.
Should the team management look at the wicketkeeping skills, Saha will be an automatic selection in the playing XI.
Rishabh did not have a great start to his Test career behind the stumps but has improved with time. He holds the record of fastest 50 victims in Tests and many other records but Saha’s skills are too heavy to be ignored.
Hence, Saha seems to be the candidate for the wicketkeeping job in Tests and Rishabh might have to wait for a consistent run in red-ball cricket.