One of India’s greatest wicketkeeper, Syed Kirmani, feels that Bengal veteran Wriddhiman Saha deserves to play the second Test against the West Indies instead of Rishabh Pant, who still has a “lot to learn”.
Pant’s short career has been inconsistent at best especially his indiscreet shot selection during World Cup and the ongoing West Indies tour that has left everyone disappointed.
Kirmani, who played 88 Tests for India, feels that Saha was injured and he deserves equal opportunity just like the burly Delhi keeper.
“Yeh abhi jhule main hai (He is still in his infancy). But he is God gifted but needs to learn a lot,” Kirmani told PTI on the sidelines of the launch of six outlets of Hearing Solutions here.
“It’s the most difficult position on the field. Not everyone can do keeping by just wearing a pair of gloves,” said the member of the 1983 World Cup winning side.
Kirmani, a former chairman of selectors wants Saha to play the next Test in Jamaica.
“Saha unfortunately had some injury problems. He has to be given equal opportunity. What’s the point of keeping him in the side, if you do not give him chance,” Kirmani questioned.
“We have to judge on pure performance. Saha came to Indian side following his consistency at domestic level. But when you’re out of picture, somebody else takes over your place, so the likes of Karthik and Pant came into the picture.
“Now we have to see who’s is more consistent on the field — be it in batting, wicketkeeping or in terms of all-round abilities,” Kirmani said.
The 69-year-old also seemed a trifle irritated with constant speculation over Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future.
“Leave him alone. There will be a time when he will retire, but we must stop talking about his retirement now.”
Kirmani however wants Dhoni to groom the youngsters in the side before calling it quits.
On the issue of Conflict of interest, Kirmani seemed to be on the same page with Justice Lodha panel’s verdict that there can’t be multiple sources of earning for any player.
“If anyone violates this clause, you’re liable to be questioned as it is conflict of interest. You cannot be earning from multiple sources. Why give room to any allegations?
“I want to generalise here. Be honest and sincere in all your deeds, that is my message to one and all,” Kirmani said.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has been most vocal against the conflict of interest clause and has already said that the BCCI needs to make the conflict rule more “practical” and allow people to perform multiple roles.
“If you have done something wrong. You maybe whoever, you will be pulled up by the law. There is no such thing as ‘I’m so and so’,” Kirmani added.
The 69-year-old like most of the experts agreed that Virat Kohli’s consistency is second to none.
“The kind of consistency I have seen in Virat Kohli, I’ve neither seen in any cricketer of my era nor the current era. He has a got a great phenomenal consistency. He is a game-changer. He could be breaking the existing records of Tendulkar if he continues his consistency,” he said about Kohli who slammed his 42nd ODI century in West Indies, seven short of equalling Tendulkar’s feat of 49.
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