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  • 28 May 2019
    导出博客文章In the not so distant future, India might face an issue: if Wriddhiman Saha,
    their specialist wicketkeeper in Tests, does not succeed or gets injured, who is
    the best replacement for him?KL Rahul doubling up as a wicketkeeper-batsman in
    the IPL has helped him jump a few places in the queue, which is led by Naman
    Ojha and includes Dinesh Karthik, Sanju Samson, and Rishabh Pant. For now Saha,
    a specialist wicketkeeper, remains Indias first choice, as Kohli had made clear
    ahead of the sides departure for the Caribbean.Obviously, whenever Rahul played,
    he has played as an opener or as a back-up option for the opening slot. I think
    it is up to the team management to take a call on the batting combination, but
    as far as wicketkeeping goes, Saha, being a specialist keeper is always the
    first choice, Kohli had said in Bangalore earlier this month. Sahas batting has
    also improved a lot in the last few months and we can bank on him as he is a
    quality glovesman who can grab those half chances.Former Bengal and India
    wicketkeeper-batsman, Deep Dasgupta firmly backed a specialist wicketkeeper like
    Saha over part-time options. Especially when you are talking about Test match
    cricket, Id always say a specialist is better, Dasgupta told ESPNcricinfo.Mental
    strength is crucial to succeed in the longest format, according to Dasgupta, who
    had also opened the batting for India in Test cricket. T20 and one-day cricket
    is different, but in Test cricket, the mindset and the way you think about the
    game is completely different, he said. If youre looking at somebody to be a
    top-order batsman and keep wickets, the physical training is different. There
    will be matches where you need to be on the ground for four days, either keeping
    wickets or batting.The other important issue is whether your keeping will affect
    your batting or your batting will affect your keeping. If its somebody who has
    grown up as a wicketkeeper-batsman, he knows how to handle it. But for someone
    who is going to start keeping now, you dont know, and God forbid if the keeping
    affects batting, you lose the player as a keeper and a batsman. Thats the last
    thing you want, so its a very tentative call.With India set to play 13 Tests at
    home in the upcoming season, Sahas skills especially on turning pitches will be
    tested. Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Kiran More also said that a specialist
    keeper was the key.All wicketkeepers bat well now. You look at Parthiv [Patel]
    or Naman Ojha or Wriddhiman Saha, they all bat well, theyve all got fantastic
    domestic records and scored loads of hundreds, so I think there is no doubt
    about their batting credentials, More said. But when you play on such types of
    wickets, you need to have better wicketkeepers all the time. Why did India win
    the World Cup? I think its because we had a player who could bat at No. 6 or 7
    and was a wicketkeeper. When you look at the teams that have won World Cups,
    they always had a better wicketkeeper-batsman, be it Adam Gilchrist or MS Dhoni.
    Thats why these countries have done well. While Sahas glovework is tidy, India
    may still face a problem because his batting stats have been underwhelming,
    despite Kohlis assessment of his improved skills. In 19 Test innings, Saha has
    two half-centuries and averages only 21.58, as opposed to his first-class
    average of 42.60. Saha isnt at the same level as Dhoni - who averaged 38.09 - as
    a batsman and if India play five bowlers, as Kohli has preferred to do, they
    could have a long tail.Saha may not be technically correct, Dasgupta, formerly
    Sahas senior in the Bengal side and chairman of the state selection panel, said,
    but he was effective.Ive known Saha since he started playing first-class
    cricket, or even before that, when he was playing under-22 for Bengal, Dasgupta
    said. He is not a very orthodox batsman, but he is very effective. His numbers
    in first-class cricket - he averages over 40 - are as good as any batsman
    around. I still remember a couple of fifties he got in Sri Lanka which were
    very, very crucial. He might not score 10 out of 10 in terms of beauty, but he
    is quite effective with the bat. I think he is good enough; you just need to
    keep faith in him. Knowing Wriddhiman, I know why Virat Kohli is showing that
    much faith in him.According to Dasgupta, whether it is Saha or Ojha or Rahul,
    the wicketkeeper needed to be given a long run in the Test side. We have to be
    very conscious in what we want in the future. I wouldnt look at part-time
    keepers. I wouldnt mind if someone like KL Rahul opts to be a keeper, but I dont
    like the tag part-time. The keepers we have in the country are all good batsmen,
    be it Naman or Wriddhiman. They all have very, very impressive batting numbers.
    So all I would like to see is these guys being given enough opportunities to
    figure out where they stand. Its a little unfair to say Naman isnt good enough
    when you have already given him one opportunity and he has done decently well.
    We have enough talent in the country to not look at part-time options.Saha, Ojha
    and Karthik are older than 30, but Dasgupta said fitness should be the priority,
    rather than age. Someone like a Naman or a DK [Dinesh Karthik], for that matter,
    who is in his early 30s, in this day and age, your age is just a number. Its
    about how fit you are and whether you are performing or not. And if these guys
    who are in their 30s are still fit enough to keep wickets and bat in Test match
    cricket, why not, even if its just for two or three years. If its a 50-over
    team, you have the Champions Trophy coming up next season, or if its 20-over
    cricket, you are looking at the World Cup. But in Test cricket, theres no big
    tournament. Youre looking at the next series. So I dont understand building a
    team for the future as far as Test cricket is concerned.
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