'Unfortunately for him, we have an extremely special player': Rathour hails India's 'ideal team man' for gritty knock

India vs New Zealand: Vikram Rathour said that the India batter is unfortunate due to the presence of Rishabh Pant.
Indian team batting coach Vikram Rathour(PTI)
Indian team batting coach Vikram Rathour(PTI)
Updated on Nov 29, 2021 09:04 AM IST
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India's batting coach Vikram Rathour was all praise for India's "ideal team man" Wriddhiman Saha following the veteran's gritty half-century knock against New Zealand on day 4 of the first Test in Kanpur, but admitted him being unfortunate owing to the presence of "extremely special player" Rishabh Pant, who has been rested from the Test series.

Saha, now 37, played better part of his career as legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni's understudy, and despite some splendid glovework, he has once again taken the back-up position, this time for 24-year-old Pant.

On Sunday, with his career on the line, Saha battled stiff neck to score a gutsy 61 not out, and together with Shreyas Iyer (65), revived India's faltering innings to set New Zealand a target of 284 runs. KS Bharat had replaced him as a wicketkeeper on day 3 after Saha had incurred the injury and produced three impressive dismissals.

ALSO READ: Rathour responds to fate of Pujara, Rahane, Iyer for 2nd Test against NZ

"He had a really, really stiff neck and knowing Saha who is an ideal team man, he is going to do whatever is required," Rathour was eloquent about the senior keeper, who shared two fifty-plus stands with Iyer and Axar Patel.

"He would do the tough things for the team and he played an extremely important knock at the stage the team was at that point. That is what we always expect from Wriddhi. He has always been that kind of a person, whom we can count on and today he showed why."

Despite the effort, Rathour admitted that Saha is nothing but a stop-gap option for the team and will have to make way for Pant when he joins the Test squad for the South Africa tour.

"As far as Wriddhi is concerned, unfortunately for him, we have an extremely special player Rishabh, who is number one keeper for us and has done extremely well in past few years.

"That's the role (No. 2) Wriddhi has at the moment that we need him when Pant is not available," Rathour spelt it loud and clear, something he didn't do when asked about Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane's future.

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Friday, May 20, 2022