Current India squad do not have any specialist Wicket keeper-batsman in test except Wriddhiman Saha. So, after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement from test cricket the Bengal keeper was an automatic choice. But, choosing a wicket keeper for third test after Wriddhiman getting injured was really tough job for the selectors and the options available were Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel, Sheldon Jackson and Rishabh Pant.
It can be said beyond doubt that Rishabh Pant was favourite of them all. This young lad is having a terrific Ranji season, but surprisingly Parthiv Patel was selected for the vacant slot of Wriddhiman Saha for the third test. And a natural question arises with that selection – why Parthiv and not Rishabh?
Parthiv Patel made his debut for the Indian national team against England (2002) and he played his last test for team India was 8 years back against Sri Lanka (2008). He is almost a regular face in IPL but his performance is not that good for national side. Till now the southpaw has played 20 test matches with a average of 29.69 with 4 half-centuries. His highest score in test is 69 against Pakisthan.
If we compare Rishabh and Parthiv’s current performance then Rishabh is miles ahead. Rishabh who is having a wonderful season by scoring 874 runs till now. His highest is 308 against Maharashtra and against Jharkhand he scored century on both innings. The way Rishabh is batting is similar to his idol Virender Sehwag and if we look on Parthiv’s performance that is not remarkable like Rishabh. Parthiv has made only one century in this season which is against Madhya Pradesh (139*).
Now looking at India’s point of view if they needed a destructive batsman who can also keep well then they could have considered Rishabh but in test cricket a specialist wicket keeper is needed. Against a team like England a small mistake behind wicket could make trouble and possibly that’s why they went for the experienced Parthiv Patel for this test.
A technically good wicket keeper is a treasure for a team. Indian team have keepers like K.L. Rahul but he is also inexperienced and yet to be tasted. Indian team are having a poor record against England for the past few years and that is why they do not want any kind of experiment in this level. This sort of makes of a case why Parthiv got his call and it might be his last chance to show his capability. On the other hand, so far as Rishabh is concerned, he will have to wait to get the coveted opportunity. If he continues this kind of batting form and improves his keeping skill then he could become the ideal replacement of M.S. Dhoni in all formats of cricket.
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