India Test cricket team skipper Virat Kohli has mentioned that Bengal wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha is the number one choice to keep the wickets for India's tour of West Indies, starting July 6. Team India are embarking on a seven week-long tour wherein they would play two practice games before the four Test matches.
Ahead of the team's departure to the Caribbean nation, Kohli addressed the media on Monday and brought out some key points of India's preparations and team selection. KL Rahul is the other wicketkeeper in the squad, but Kohli has stated that Saha gets the benefit of doubt when it comes to selection of the first-team wicketkeeper for the tour.
"Whenever KL Rahul has played, he has filled in opener's slot but when it comes to keeping, Wriddhiman is our first-choice keeper," said the 27-year-old Kohli, as quoted by Press Trust of India. "His batting has also improved a lot and we are backing him.
"In Test matches, when it comes to half-chances, you need a specialist keeper who can execute catches properly. A part-time keeper will find this situation harder. We will think about Rahul if Saha is injured as then we will also have to make our middle-order strong," Kohli added.
The hotshot batsman also mentioned that coach Anil Kumble's presence gives a massive boost to the side as sharing the dressing room with the legendary spinner will inspire the entire team. "It is a huge boost for us that Anil bhai is our coach," said Kohli.
"Bowlers will feel more support due to his presence. Especially as he is someone who has won so many matches for the country and knows what it requires to win matches both India and abroad," he added.
Team India will play two practice matches -- from July 9 in St Kitts and a three-day warm-up match from July 14. Kohli's men will then play four Test matches, with the first one starting on July 21.
This is the perfect situation and opportunity to challenge and assess ourselves as a Test team. These months will define how we play as a Test team in coming years" - Virat Kohli.