Former Chief Selector of the Indian Cricket Team Sandeep Patil expressed his displeasure over the current team management over the exclusion of Wriddhiman Saha from the test team. Saha who was Team India's first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman after MS Dhoni's exit from Tests has not played a Test since November 27 as the Virat Kohli-led side has opted for youngster Rishabh Pant over experienced Saha. Speaking to a news publication, Patil stated that while promoting Rishabh Pant, the management is playing with the career of Wriddhiman Saha.
Saha, who has played 37 International Tests, has scored over 1200 runs batting down the order and effected 11 stumpings and 92 catches. The former chief selector said that the team management is playing with Saha's confidence by not backing him despite his calibre of performing well. Furthermore, Patil exuded confidence in Saha as he added that the 35-year-old will always remain his first choice wicketkeeper owing to his confidence and is also capable of rescuing the team from difficult positions.
After a humiliating defeat against New Zealand in Tests, skipper Virat Kohli backed youngster Rishabh Pant despite his low-scoring spree. During the post-match press conference after the second Test, when the skipper was asked about preferring Rishabh Pant over Wriddhiman Saha in the two Tests, Kohli sided Pant and mentioned how the 22-year-old was given an opportunity because of the hard work that he put in behind the scenes.
"We have given him (Pant) a lot of chances in the home season as well as starting from Australia. Then he was not playing for a bit. In turn, he really worked hard on himself," Kohli came to Pant's defence after the series. "You need to figure out when is the right time to give someone else a chance. If you push people too early, they can lose confidence," he added.