Ever Since Rishabh Pant replaced Wriddhiman Saha in Team India’s playing XI after the first Test during the Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia, the debate on who is better between the two has not stopped. Numerous cricketers (former and current) and experts have weighed in on the topic and even after six months to that change, the discussion continues to garner attention.
And rightfully so; Pant has grown at a meteoric rate to cement his place in the team. Only until a few months back, he was heavily criticized for his glovework but he’s a changed player since the tour Down Under. Pant improved massively in both departments and ended up replacing Test mainstay wicketkeeper Saha- who partly lost his place due to uninspiring returns with the bat.
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The latest person to chip in on the discussion is former India wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra, who was working with Pant in the Delhi Capitals (DC) camp during IPL 2021 until recently. In an interview with Sportskeeda, on what makes Pant different from Saha, likening the former to an Indian great.
“I don’t believe in too many comparisons. Both are very good, though with different styles. Wriddhiman is more traditional. Rishabh is very “bindaas” type like Virender Sehwag.
“Both have different styles, for sure. Saha has more experience but Rishabh is improving and batting in crunch situations. It doesn’t mean Saha is not a good batsman. He doesn’t have to prove to anyone now,” explained Ratra.
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Thirty-nine-year-old Ratra further stated that Delhi cricketer Pant has proven has critics wrong, who often in the past said that Pant is only meant for shorter formats. Ratra lauded Pant for his performance against tough opponents like Australia.
“As an overall package, Pant is ahead, especially the way he has performed in Australia. Though his style of play shows that Pant could be successful in only shorter formats, the way he has done well in different conditions in England, Australia, India, against tough opponents, he has come up nicely. That is his greatness,” observed Ratra.
Concluding his point, Ratra remarked that southpaw Pant is special because of the way he has shown to mould himself according to the situation and adapt.
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“The way he has adapted in different conditions has made him special. After that, even in Australia, when the situation demanded and when the conditions were not great for batting, he took his time. And when he felt it was time to attack a bowler, he went after him.
“He can quickly score 30-35 runs in two or three overs. He is that sort of stuff. I really appreciate his adaptability, when to step on the accelerator and when not to. It is not easy, though. He has put an end to the debate, at least for now,” commented Ratra.