India have two wicketkeepers in their Test squad for the series against New Zealand. W Saha and Rishabh Pant are the two keepers in the squad. Who should India opt for between Saha and Pant for the first Test against New Zealand, which starts from Friday?
Cricwizz takes a look who is the ideal keeper to play the first Test against New Zealand.
Saha is the first-choice keeper in Tests
Of late, Saha has been the first-choice keeper in Tests for India because of his better wicketkeeping skills. Saha has edged out Pant who has been inconsistent with the gloves. And on pace-friendly conditions of New Zealand, India need a better keeper than a batsman to keep India in the hunt. Saha has a high success rate in terms of wicketkeeping. But Pant has been in the limelight for his dropped catches. Hence, Saha edges out Pant in the race for the first-choice keeper’s slot in the first Test vs New Zealand.
India need a technically equipped batsman in New Zealand conditions
Saha is a better batsman when it comes to a strong defence. Pant is known for his shotmaking and that can prove to be his undoing. New Zealand conditions call for a better technique to deal with the moving ball. Saha can put a heavy price tag on his wicket and rally with the lower-order to score a few useful runs. But Pant doesn’t inspire much confidence in terms of battling it out in the middle. He is known for throwing his wickets away in a bid to score quick runs.
Team India have lost confidence in Pant
Pant has not only lost his place in limited-overs cricket but does not even inspire confidence in Test cricket despite scoring a ton each in England and Australia. But despite that, Pant is not a regular in Test XI. His inconsistency has stopped India from giving him a spot in the XI. And Saha is the preferred choice in Tests.
Saha is experienced and a team player
Saha is an experienced keeper-batsman and can be an asset in overseas when the conditions are tough to keep wickets and score runs. Although he may not boast of tall scores overseas, his superior keeping skills puts him ahead of Pant for the first Test against New Zealand.
Verdict: Saha is the preferred choice to play as keeper-batsman in the first Test vs New Zealand. Pant will continue to remain in sidelines.