Rishabh Pant has endured a tough time in the current tour of West Indies after he was appointed as the first-choice keeper for the tour. Pant smashed one fifty in the Twenty20 series but in the ODIs, he was found wanting with the bat and his keeping was also not upto the mark. Although his keeping was good in the first Test in Antigua, the left-hander once again failed with the bat and the questions on Pant's inclusion have grown louder. Now, speaking in a function, former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani has said Wriddhiman Saha should replace Pant in the side, saying that the youngster has 'plenty to learn'.
"Yeh abhi jhule main hai (He is still in his infancy). But he is God gifted but needs to learn a lot. It's the most difficult position on the field. Not everyone can do keeping by just wearing a pair of gloves," Kirmani, who played 88 Tests and was part of the 1983 World Cup winning squad.
Wriddhiman Saha is the back-up keeper in the series and the Bengal keeper has fallen down the pegging order after a career-threatening shoulder injury that was misdiagnosed in 2017 and 2018. In his absence, Pant capitalised with some good knocks but Kirmani feels that Saha should get more opportnities now.
"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. 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.
With Pant struggling and Saha on the verge of a comeback, the questions continued to swirl about MS Dhoni's future in the Indian cricket team. Kirmani urged the media to leave the former skipper alone.
"Leave him alone. There will be a time when he will retire, but we must stop talking about his retirement now," Kirmani said.