Wriddhiman Saha was confirmed as India's wicket-keeper for the first Test match at Visakhapatnam as Rishabh Pant faced the axe. Also, R Ashwin make a comeback to the side and will be the second spinner along with Ravindra Jadeja. The other bowlers in the side were Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
"Yes, Ashwin will start. Ashwin and Jadeja both will start here. Look Jaddu we felt was in a better zone as far as performing overseas and and what he has done in the past season for the team," Kohli told reporters ahead of the first Test match.
"Wherever the conditions provide us to go with two spinners, Ash is always going to be a threat and in home conditions with his batting and the way he bowls as well he is always going to be starting with Jadeja. That was a no brainer for us," he further added.
Saha has been picked over Rishabh Pant
On the issue of picking Saha over Pant, Kohli confirmed that the decision was made purely on the basis of the conditions on offer and since, Saha was the best wicket-keeper in the world, he deserved to get a run in the side once fit.
"Yes Saha is fit and fine to go. He is going to start the series for us. His keeping credentials are for everyone to see. He has done well with the bat whenever he has got a chance. It was unfortunate that he was out with an injury. According to me he is the best keeper the world. With these conditions he starts for us," said Kohli on the eve of the first Test.
Kohli did mention that they had backed Saha as the wicket-keeper even though Pant had done well in his short career so far. Also, since the conditions are expected to assist spinners, Saha's credentials gave him the nod ahead of the Delhi keeper.
"...Saha was always the one we would back as a pure keeper in Test cricket. He has done well under pressure situations in the past for us, so it was just about finding the right opportunity and the moment to bring him back in. And you need to be wary in a team environment where you understand when to bring a player back and when to give another guy more opportunities" he reasoned. "I felt for now, it's the right time for Saha to come back and get in to his zone," said Kohli.
He also spoke about Rohit Sharma and said that the team management was willing to give the right-hander a long rope to thrive in his new role and that, they were convinced that he will be able to make the transition.