Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra weighed in on the ongoing debate over who should be India’s wicketkeeper-batsman in the Boxing Day Test in Adelaide – should the visitors continue with Wriddhiman Saha who failed to get runs in Adelaide, or should they bring in the young and dynamic Rishabh Pant who struggled in 2020 but had a good tour in Australia the last time.
Chopra said that India may think about bringing in Pant, but he would not mind even if the visitors go ahead with Saha. The former Test cricketer said that a wrong impression has been created that Pant cannot keep wickets or that Saha cannot bat.
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“This is one change that can probably happen. I am not advocating that but just starting a conversation. Since, Virat Kohli is leaving, you will play Shubman Gill or KL Rahul instead of him. So, your batting has already become weaker,” Chopra said in a reply to a question from a fan in a video uploaded on his Facebook page.
“Your openers are already not firing. So, when you see this combination, you can go towards Pant. But even if you play Saha, I am not going to criticise you even once.
“If you want to play a better keeper at No.7, that is Saha. It is not the case that Saha cannot bat, and it is not that Pant can’t keep wickets,” Chopra said.
“Till now, the atmosphere has been created that Pant is a bad keeper. How is that the case, as he takes very good catches, and last time on the Australian tour, he had taken the maximum catches; and Saha cannot bat; how can he not as he has a Test century.
“If you have in mind that you should play a left-hander, there is no other left-hander in the lineup, and there is no game-changer. I am okay with it, but I am not going to criticise if you play Saha,” he signed off.