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Wriddhiman Saha explains why Rishabh Pant should be India’s first-choice keeper

The Indian cricket team has struggled to nail down a permanent gloveman in Test cricket ever since MS Dhoni decided to hang his boots in the longest format of the game. As things stand, young Rishabh Pant and senior member Wriddhiman Saha have been fighting for the position in the longest format.

Against Australia in December, Saha was given the nod ahead of Pant in the first Test in Adelaide, but a failure to score runs resulted in him losing his place. Pant went on to score crucial runs for the team and was one of the catalysts behind India’s historic victory Down Under.

The young wicket-keeper’s form continued to haunt a visiting England team earlier this year and as Team India gear up for their tour of England, both Saha and Pant will once again battle it out for a first-team spot. Saha, however, has admitted that Pant deserves this place as he has played more matches in recent times.

“Rishabh Pant played the last few matches of the World Test Championship, he’s done well and he should be our first-choice keeper in England. I would just wait, and if any opportunity arises, I will give my best. I will keep practising for that one chance,” Saha told Sportskeeda.

Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently included Andhra wicket-keeper KS Bharat in the travelling team after Saha had contracted the COVID-19 virus. While it was assumed that Bharat is going to be a cover, Saha says that it is nothing but a precautionary step given the testing times we are in.

“I didn’t have COVID-19 during the last series but KS Bharat was still with the team. So what do you say then? Now that I contracted the infection, people are labelling him as my ‘cover’. But I feel they have picked a third keeper bearing in mind the risk outside.

“As we saw, anybody can get the infection from anywhere and two keepers are anyway a must these days. So if one keeper falls sick by any chance, then we will be in a spot of bother. I think that’s the reason why they have decided to travel with the three of us,” the 36-year-old further explained.

Featured photo: AFP / Indranil Mukherjee

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