Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul or Wriddhiman Saha: Former Australia cricketer on who should be India’s full-time wicketkeeper
In a video uploaded on his Youtube channel Hogg’s Vlog, former Australia allrounder Brad Hogg revealed why and whom he would pick as India keeper in Tests and in limited-overs format.Updated: Jul 02, 2020 07:34 IST
With former India captain MS Dhoni’s future with the Indian cricket team uncertain at the moment, the selectors have a tough task ahead of themselves on figuring out who could be the player to put on the big shoes and showers the responsibility of being the full-time wicketkeeper of India. Wriddhiman Saha, who is widely recognised as the best wicketkeeper in the team seems like the most obvious choice. But Rishabh Pant, had a great Test series in 2018 in England and in Australia when Saha was injured, and he has put his name in the hat as well. Though a forgettable 2019 has also puts question marks on Saha and KL Rahul has emerged as another contender for the job.
In a video uploaded on his Youtube channel Hogg’s Vlog, former Australia allrounder Brad Hogg revealed why and whom he would pick as India keeper in Tests and in limited-overs format.
“Let’s firstly look at who is the better keeper. We have to go to Saha first, because he’s the best. Why? Because he stays low. When the ball comes, he doesn’t move till the last moment, he moves with soft hands, and he gives. Also, he’s got very nimble feet, where he’s quick at down leg side and to take those stumpings. He’s got the good reach, and quick hands to come back and take the stumpings. And when he’s up to the stumps, those quick catches off the edge, he generally takes most of them,” Hogg said.
“KL Rahul has shown he can keep in the shorter formats with the opportunities he has got earlier in the year. Much like Saha, he is quick with the hands. But because of his height, he’s slightly slower down the leg side. Pant is a little more flat-footed. He’s got hard hands and he snatches more at the ball than the other two,” he further added.
“So who is the ideal player to keep wickets in all three formats? In Tests, I wouldn’t have KL Rahul keeping because he doesn’t do enough of it at first-class level. It would put pressure on his batting, I’d be two afraid that his batting will fall away because of the extra work load. So, you’ve got to go with either Saha or Pant,” Hogg said.
The former left-hander added that he would prefer Pant in Test cricket as the keeper choice because of his aggressive batting style. “Pant’s batting is more explosive than Saha. If you look at India’s top order, their top five do the bulk of the world. What you need from your no. 7 is someone to come out and take the game on, and get as much runs as quickly as possible. It moves the game forward and gives the bowlers more time to take 20 wickets, which you need in a Test match. So, for me, even if Pant misses a few stumpings that Saha would get, he puts the team in a much better position than Saha to win the Test match with his bat,” he said.
Talking about shorter formats, Hogg picked Rahul as his keeper choice for India. “In white-ball formats, you would think with that aggressive in Pant, I would be going for him in ODIs and T20Is. I am not. Saha is not the man either, because he doesn’t have that strike rate, and he doesn’t find the boundaries as easier as Pant or Rahul. So, I am going to go with Rahul,” he said.
“If you compare stats of Rahul, Pant, the former is more aggressive in all three phases of ODIs. It’s the same story in all three formats of T20 cricket. Where Pant loses his way there is that he’s just over-aggressive, he gets too ahead of himself, he doesn’t get composure in those crucial situations, whereas Rahul is more mature,” he added.
Hogg further said that he sees Pant taking on the full-time role of the keeper for India in the future, but he needs to work on his decision-making. “For me, if you looking at wicketkeepers, Pant would keep in the Test cricket, Rahul for shorter formats. Saha is going to be a very good back-up keeper. But Pant, in the next two-three years, Pant will be keeping in all three formats. He is going to be the main man. But for him to improve his cricket, he needs to get a mind coach, a bit like Steve Smith and David Warner, it will help him make those right decisions in all those crucial moments,” he said.