Former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani feels that the seasoned Wriddhiman Saha deserves to play the second Test against the West Indies instead of Rishabh Pant, who he thinks still has a “lot to learn”.
Pant’s short career has been inconsistent at best, especially his indiscreet shot selection during World Cup and the ongoing West Indies tour.
Kirmani, who played 88 Tests for India, feels that Saha should get his chances after returning from injury. “Yeh abhi jhule main hai (Pant is still in his infancy). But he is gifted and needs to learn a lot,” Kirmani was quoted as saying by PTI. “It’s the most difficult position on the field. Not everyone can do keeping by just wearing a pair of gloves,” he added.
The former chairman of selectors wants Saha to play the next Test in Jamaica. “Saha unfortunately had some injury problems. He has to be given equal opportunity. What’s the point of keeping him in the side if you do not give him chance?
“We have to judge on pure performance. Saha came to Indian side following his consistency at domestic level. But when you’re out of picture, somebody else takes your place so the likes of Karthik and Pant came into the picture. Now we have to see who’s is more consistent on the field – be it in batting, wicketkeeping or in terms of all-round abilities,” the World Cup-winning ‘keeper weighed in.
The 69-year-old was also put off with constant speculation over Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future. He said: “Leave him alone. There will be a time when he will retire, but we must stop talking about his retirement now.”
Kirmani however wants Dhoni to groom the youngsters in the side before calling it quits.
India thrashed West Indies by 318 runs in the first Test to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series. With the win, Kohli now has more overseas wins in the longest format than any other Indian captain. He also level with MS Dhoni for the most number of Test wins by an Indian captain and has the chance reach the top of the tree in Jamaica.
“The kind of consistency I have seen in Virat Kohli, I’ve neither seen in any cricketer of my era nor the current era,” Kirmani said. “He has a got a great phenomenal consistency. He is a game-changer. He could be breaking the existing records of Tendulkar if he continues his consistency.”