Farokh Engineer has his say on Rishabh Pant’s selection over Wriddhiman Saha in New Zealand
Former Indian cricket team wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer believes that Wriddhiman Saha is a better wicket-keeper than Rishabh Pant but Pant is an overall package. While Pant has not played a number of limited overs matches in the recent past, he was preferred over Saha in the recently concluded Test series against New Zealand. However, the youngster failed to impress with his bat and that earned him a lot of criticism from experts and fans alike. Engineer said that Pant was in a dilemma while batting and was playing an ‘unnatural game’.
“Purely on wicketkeeping skills for a Test match, Saha is a better choice. If you compare the batting aspect, Pant can change the complexion of a game. So, playing Pant was not a bad idea. I wouldn’t say it was a disaster. He didn’t do anything wrong behind the stumps,” Engineer said as quoted by Mid-day.
“He [Pant] kept getting beaten. He had to save the Test but at the same time, also needed to get some runs. Had he tried to be flashy, he would have been ostracised for throwing away his wicket. The poor chap was in a dilemma. But when he was at sea, that’s when he should have tried to get behind the ball and play some shots. If I was captain, I would have told him to play his natural game more. He was playing an unnatural game,” he added.
Nayan Mongia, who also kept wickets for India in both Tests and ODIs, had a clear favourite when it came to choosing between Pant and Saha as he insisted that the wicket-keeper position should be kept for a specialist.
“I have always maintained that if Saha is fit and performing, he should be playing in Tests. I have no second thoughts about this. It looks like the team management is looking for a batsman more than a wicketkeeper. Wicketkeeping is a specialist job in Test matches whether it is the spin or pace-friendly situation,” Mongia said