Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria has advised rest to explosive wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant ahead of the fourth Test between England and India. He was concerned over Pant’s returns with the bat and hoped a break might reset the youngster’s mindset.
Pant hasn’t fared well in the series so far. Although he got starts in the first two Tests, he failed to kick on from there and put up a big score. The Headingley Test was quite a disaster for the 23-year-old, as he scored 2 and 1 in the first and second innings respectively.
Suddenly, questions have been raised on whether he needs to take a break to get back to his usual self. Kaneria certainly believes so, and India has a good backup wicket-keeping option in Wriddhiman Saha who can contribute in the lower middle-order.
“Rishabh Pant no doubt, is a brilliant cricketer, everybody gets form and loses form and if he is rested to regain his form back, does not mean he is out of the team altogether. I think it’s time now for Wriddhiman Saha to take the gloves,” the former spinner said.
“Pant is struggling with form” – Danish Kaneria
Pant has arguably been India’s second-best batsman in recent times after Rohit Sharma. His explosive nature can turn the game on its head at any point. He is a proven match-winner but everybody goes through a slump, which forces them to try different approaches.
“Rishabh Pant had a good tour of Australia, played well in the home series (against England) as well but since then he is struggling with form. He is not able to play his natural game, he is trying to score runs by stepping outside the crease,” Kaneria added.
Saha, on the other hand, has a compact defense but he is rather unproven in foreign conditions. Much of it might be done to the lack of opportunities, especially since the rise of Pant in the last few months or so.
“[Wriddhiman] Saha is available for the Indian team, has the time come to give him a chance because he seems like a steady player and is a brilliant wicket-keeper as well. It seems like he can stay at the crease, can provide runs if India needs like 50-60 runs down the end, so Saha can make it into the playing XI,” Kaneria asserted.
The loss at Headingley would have rattled Team India but there may not be any reactionary changes in the playing XI apart from a possible return for Ravichandran Ashwin.