The Indian cricket team rendered extraordinary exhibitions in the recently finished Border-Gavaskar Trophy down under despite the odds stacked against them throughout the 4-match series that they eventually won by 2-1 under the leadership of stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane. This was India’s second consecutive series win against the Aussie nation on their own soil.
The previous tour in 2018-19, where the Virat Kohli-led side had scripted a 2-1 conquest, was the first instance when India beat Australia in a Test series in their own backyard, and with that, the Men in Blue were the first Asian side to pull off that historic feat.
Amidst the injuries that the team had to endure during the concluded Test series against Australia, one of the major decisions that the management took was to replace Wriddhiman Saha with Rishabh Pant for the last three Test matches.
Speaking on the same and clearing the air regarding any rift between them, Saha said that there’s a friendly equation between them and whoever performs better gets to be in the playing XI.
I was unable to score runs that is why Rishabh got the chance: Wriddhiman Saha
“You can ask him (Pant), we have a friendly relationship and help each other whoever gets into the XI. Personally, there is no conflict with him. I don’t see who is No 1 or 2. The team will give a chance to those who do better. I will continue to do my job,” said Saha as quoted by News18.
The 36-year-old Bengal cricketer added,” Selection is not in my hands, it is up to the management. No one learns Algebra in class 1. You always go step by step. He is giving his best and will definitely improve. He has matured and proved himself. In the long-run, it augurs well for the Indian team.”
Saha stated that Pant was preferred over him because he couldn’t score runs in the opening match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 at Adelaide Oval.
Saha further added that he has always focused on improving his skills and that the approach wil remain the same for the forthcoming matches.
“I was unable to score runs that is why Pant got the chance. It is as simple as that. I always focused on improving my skills. It is the same approach now,” Saha concluded.
It pink-ball Test at Adelaide Oval and Saha could score just 9 and 4 runs in the first and second innings respectively and thus, the senior wicket-keeper batsman was replaced by Pant for the remaining three Test matches.
Pant, capitalized on the opportunities and registered scores of 29(40), 36(67), 97(118), 23(29) and finally 89*(138) to finish as one of the leading run-getters in the series.
Both Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha have been named in India’s 18-man squad for the first two Test matches against England at home, starting January 7.
The tour will commence with the initial two matches at M Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, followed by the remaining two Tests of the four-match series at the newly reconstructed Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Skipper Virat Kohli is back in the squad along with some notable additions namely Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar and Mohammed Siraj who had a great run in the concluded series against Australia.