Wriddhiman Saha’s contribution behind the wickets in the first Test was phenomenal. Effecting a record 10 dismissals in a single match, Saha became the Indian wicketkeeper with the most number of dismissals in a Test match. Saha’s 10 catches behind the stumps helped him surpass MS Dhoni’s record of 9 against Australia in 2014. However, the keeper-batsman failed miserably with the bat, just like the rest of the Indian batsmen.
Just ahead of the second Test, there were speculations doing rounds that Saha strained his back and is not fit to play the crucial game. However, the news was confirmed at the toss by skipper Virat Kohli who clarified that Saha had a niggle in his hamstring and that they didn’t want to take a chance. Backup keeper, Parthiv Patel replaced Saha, and is playing a Test outside Asia for the first time in 13 years.
Unless Saha is injured, he shouldn’t be dropped: Harsha Bhogle
Responding to a speculation that Saha has been dropped, the veteran commentator, Harsha Bhogle backed the Bengal keeper. He opined that Saha shouldn’t be left-out unless he is injured. “Do remember that a wicketkeeper scoring 20-30 more has to be balanced against a missed opportunity than can cost 70-80…… Unless Saha is injured, not even worth contemplating a replacement,” Harsha tweeted.
Do remember that a wicket keeper scoring 20-30 more has to be balanced against a missed opportunity than can cost 70-80…… Unless Saha is injured, not even worth contemplating a replacement.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 13, 2018
Wriddhiman Saha has been India’s keeping option since MS Dhoni announced his retirement from the longest format. The wicketkeeper has done well in his primary trade both at home and abroad. On the other hand, Parthiv who has been waiting for an opportunity has one to seal his place in the squad. Parthiv is definitely the better batsman, especially in overseas conditions. However, Saha aces most others with his skill behind the stumps.
The team management also decided to drop opener, Shikhar Dhawan and fast bowler, Bhuvneswar Kumar. Following a very poor batting display from Dhawan, KL Rahul was preferred for the crucial second Test against the Proteas in Centurion while Ishant Sharma took Kumar’s spot in the XI.