Syed Kirmani: Wriddhiman Saha deserves equal opportunity
Former wicketkeeper wants Bengal's veteran glovesman Wriddhiman to play in second Test against West Indies instead of young Rishabh Pant
Kolkata: One of India's greatest wicketkeeper, Syed Kirmani, feels that Bengal veteran Wriddhiman Saha deserves to play the second Test against the West Indies starting Friday instead of Rishabh Pant, who still has a "lot to learn". Pant's short career has been inconsistent at best especially his indiscreet shot selection during World Cup and the ongoing West Indies tour that has left everyone disappointed.
Kirmani, who played 88 Tests for India, feels that Saha was injured and he deserves equal opportunity just like the burly Delhi 'keeper. "Yeh abhi jhule main hai [He is still in his infancy]. He is God gifted but needs to learn a lot," Kirmani said. "It's the most difficult position on the field. Not everyone can do 'keeping by just wearing a pair of gloves," said the member of the 1983 World Cup winning side.
Kirmani, a former chairman of selectors wants Saha to play the next Test in Jamaica. "Saha unfortunately had some injury problems. He has to be given equal opportunity. What's the point of keeping him in the side, if you do not give him chance," Kirmani questioned. "We have to judge on pure performance. Saha came to Indian side following his consistency at domestic level. But when you're out of picture, somebody else takes over your place, so the likes of Karthik and Pant came into the picture.
"Now we have to see who is more consistent on the field — be it in batting, wicketkeeping or in terms of all-round abilities," Kirmani said.
Kirmani, 69, also seemed a trifle irritated with constant speculation over Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future. "Leave him alone. There will be a time when he will retire, but we must stop talking about his retirement now."
Kirmani however wants Dhoni to groom the youngsters in the side before calling it quits. On the issue of Conflict of Interest, Kirmani seemed to be on the same page with Justice Lodha panel's verdict that there can't be multiple sources of earning for any player.
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