India vs Australia: I was unable to score runs that's why Pant got the chance, admits Saha
India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha has made it clear that there is no “conflict” with Rishabh Pant, while also praising the Delhi cricketer for his recent match-winning knock at the Gabba.
India's wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha has made it clear that there is no "conflict" with Rishabh Pant, while also praising the Delhi cricketer for his recent match-winning knock at the Gabba.
Saha was India's wicketkeeper in the opening Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval. While he did a great job behind the wickets, he returned with scores of 9 and 4 with the bat. Following India's thumping eight-wicket loss in the pink ball Test, Saha was dropped and Pant was roped in for the remaining Tests.
In the previous tour of Australia in 2018-19, Pant was only second to Cheteshwar Pujara in the list of most runs in the series with 350 runs in four Tests at an average of 58.33.
Once again, the young wicketkeeper-batsman stepped for India with the bat. Pant helped India draw the New Year's Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) with 97 he scored in the final innings. In the fourth and final Test, Pant remained unbeaten on 89 and led India to a successful chase of 338 on the final day.
"You can ask him (Pant), we have a friendly relationship and help each other whoever gets into the XI. Personally, there's no conflict with him. I don't' see who is No.1 or 2... Team will give a chance to those who do better. I will continue to do my job. Selection is not in my hands, it's up to the management. No one learns algebra in class I. 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.
The way he has shown his intent after being sidelined from his favourite T20 and ODI formats was really exceptional," Saha said after returning home following the historic Test series win in Australia.
The Bengal cricketer also admitted that Pant was chosen instead of him for the remaining three Tests Down Under because of his failure with the bat in the first Test.
"I was unable to score runs that's why Pant got the chance. It's as simple as that. I always focused on improving my skills...It's the same approach now," Saha added.
India and Australia went into the Gabba Test with the series levelled at 1-1. On the final day in Brisbane, India resumed their innings on 7 for no loss with a huge task ahead of chasing down 338. They suffered a major setback as they lost Rohit Sharma early in the day. The Mumbai batsman went back after scoring just seven runs. A young Shubman Gill scored 91 off 146 balls, a stubborn Pujara scored a crucial 56 off 211 balls.
Pant built several partnerships before finishing the job for Team India. He put up 61 runs with Pujara for the fourth wicket, 35 runs for the fifth wicket with Mayank Agarwal, and 53 runs for the sixth wicket with Washington Sundar. He earned the Player of the Match for his knock of 89 not out from 138 deliveries as India handed Australia their first Test loss at the Gabba since 1988.