New Delhi: Injury to Wriddhiman Sahan opened doors to many other wicketkeeper batsmen to be included in India's squad for Mohali Test including Madhya Pradesh’s Naman Ojha, Tamil Nadu’s Dinesh Karthik and Delhi's Rishabh Pant.
But the name to be included by BCCI selection committee was that of Parthiv Patel who scored 49, 139 not out, 60, 21, 61, 53 and 20 in the ongoing Ranji Trophy. But if you compare these stats to 117, 135, 60, 24, 9, 308 and 146, also taking into considerations that the 135 came off 67 balls, the 100 off 48 making it the fastest century in Ranji Trophy history along with the 308 of 326 balls, MSK Prasad's move does raise eyebrows.
What comes out as the chief reason behind BCCI's decision to sub Pant is the fact that Patel was a left-hander.
An unnamed BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo that “Being a left-hand bat – England have a leg-spinner and a left-arm spinner in Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari. So, a left-hander will add more to the team.”
While many would ridicule this reason, another factor that went against Pant was that it was logistically impossible for him to reach Mohali before Friday evening since he is currently involved in the Ranji Trophy match in Kerala.
Pant, who is currently topping the run charts in the Ranji Trophy with 874 runs, would have to travel to either Kochi or Thiruvananthapuram by road from Wayanad, and then take a flight to Delhi followed by another connecting flight to Chandigarh in order to reach Mohali.
The question is with India already leading the 5-match Test series 1-0 after 2 Tests, what was the risk behind naming Rishabh as the reserve wicket-keeper in the squad. Considering, Wriddhiman Saha is already 32, BCCI should have named the 19-year-old Rishabh Pant in the squad as it only a matter of time before the Delhi-lad breaks into the Indian squad.