Wriddhiman Saha’s better performance in wicketkeeping in the first day night Test cricket match between India and Australia in Adelaide on Thursday may get priority over Rishabh Pant’s aggressive batting. The probable Indian XI for the first Test match remains a matter of discussion and it is not yet decided whether one of the better wicketkeepers as 36-year-old Saha or a better batsman as 23-year-old Pant has a place in the team.
The Indian team management has not opened its cards yet and when asked about this, Hanuma Vihari also said that ‘healthy competition’ is good for the team. It is believed that Saha’s better wicketkeeping and defensive batting may be preferred. Coach Ravi Shastri, captain Virat Kohli, assistant coach Vikram Rathore, Bharat Arun and selector Harvinder Singh will assess the performance of both of them based on the circumstances of the match.
Saha had saved India from a defeat against Australia A by playing a crucial innings of 54 in the first practice match, when he faced bowlers like James Pattinson, Michael Naser and Cameron Green. Saha has scored 1238 runs in 37 Tests, including three centuries, 92 catches and 11 stumps. Even if he makes a place in the first Test match, Pant’s chances are not lost. Saha will have to perform well not only behind the wicket but also in front of the wicket to stay in the team.
In contrast, when Pant scored a century in the second practice match, the Indian team was in a better position and faced leg-spinner Mitchell Swapson and improvised bowler Nick Madinson. Pant, who was battling for form and fitness in the IPL in the UAE this year, scored 103 off 73 balls in a practice match against Australia A. Pant said after this century that his confidence has increased. It was necessary to play a practice match with a pink ball.