Indian wicket-keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will probably get replaced by Wriddhiman Saha for the Test series against South Africa as the team management is demanding for it, according to reports.
A source told the Times of India that the selectors wanted to give a last chance to Pant in the first Test against South Africa but the team management is not happy with his performance lately as they want Saha instead.
The source further stated that the problem with Pant is not only with his bat but also with his keeping. He further went on to say that the 21-year-old wicket-keeper is not good with DRS reviews whereas Saha is a far better keeper, especially in the Indian conditions.
He added that the 34-year-old wicket-keeper batsman also adds some useful runs lower down the order. According to him, all these factors have convinced the team management to pick Saha ahead of Pant in the India South Africa Test series.
"The selectors are in a mood to give one final chance to Pant in the first Test, but the team management (coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli) wants Saha to play from the start of the series itself," the source told TOI.
"The problem is, Pant's lack of success with the bat hurting his confidence while keeping wickets too. His DRS reviews aren't great. In Indian conditions, on turning wickets, he may struggle. Saha is a far better 'keeper than him, and get a few useful runs lower down the order too," the source added.
If the 21-year-old cricketer is replaced by the experienced campaigner Saha then it will be a huge setback for the youngster who has been getting chances for quite some time.
After the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 got over, Indian chief selector MSK Prasad revealed that they are looking at Pant as the first-choice wicket-keeper for the Men in Blue in future and Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the second-choice.
The 38-year-old former Indian captain took a sabbatical from cricket and was not available for the West Indies tour and also for the South Africa series.
Pant got regular opportunities but he could not perform up to the expectations. The 21-year-old cricketer was criticised by cricket fans and former cricketers as they blamed him for throwing away his wicket playing unnecessary shots.
They claimed that Pant needs to get much more matured and there were questions about Pant getting too many chances to play.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli had indirectly warned Pant during the India South Africa T20 series stating that the youngsters need to perform in the limited chances they get.
Moreover, Team India head coach Ravi Shastri also stated that Pant will get a scolding if he is getting out playing irresponsible shots.
Now, it seems that the Indian management is finally ready to take a call and remove Pant from the Test team which will be a huge blow to his career. Team India are slated to face South Africa in the first Test match of the three-match series on October 2 in Vizag.