AUS v IND 2020-21: Deep Dasgupta calls for Pant’s inclusion after Saha’s struggle with the bat in 1st Test

Wriddhiman Saha scored 9 and 4 in the two innings at the Adelaide Oval.

Rishabh Pant | GettyDespite taking a 53-run first innings lead, India coped an embarrassing 8-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the Test series opener at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday (December 19).

The visitors were 9 for 1 in the second innings at stumps Day 2, stretching their lead to 62. But the Australian pacers, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, ran through the Indian batting line-up in the first session on Day 3 to change the course of the game.

Hazlewood (5 for 8) and Cummins (4 for 21) took all the wickets between them as India recorded their lowest ever Test score of 36/9 (with Mohammad Shami retired hurt) in the second innings.

Openers, Matthew Wade (33) and Joe Burns (51*), then ensured Australia overhauled the 90-run target quite comfortably.

With three Tests remaining in the series, the situation looks alarming for India as skipper Virat Kohli returns home on paternity leave.

In this regard, former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta has suggested the team management to replace Wriddhiman Saha with Rishabh Pant in the line-up to strengthen the batting department.

“Couple of things, firstly he [Wriddhiman Saha] did not look comfortable, same with Prithvi [Shaw]. 2 innings, generally we say it’s just 2 innings we can’t judge, you shouldn’t judge, but again the look of it - both Prithvi and Wriddhiman just tells you that maybe it’s time you look at Rishabh [Pant] - that’s one,” Deep Dasgupta said on Sports Today.

“And secondly, he [Saha] was your first choice, you’ve given him an opportunity and he did not work. Again, it’s no just the quantum, it’s the way he was batting. So I think it’s time to get Rishabh, one.”

Apart from Kohli, veteran Rohit Sharma will also not be available for the second Test as he is currently serving two-week quarantine in Australia.

Hence, Deep Dasgupta insisted that the MCG Test needs the presence of Pant, who slammed a blazing century in the second warm-up game against Australia ‘A’.

“And secondly, now that Virat is not there, you would want to bolster your batting. Obviously Rohit [Sharma] would not be available in the 2nd Rishabh for me, I think it’s time to get Rishabh,” he remarked.


By Salman Anjum - 20 Dec, 2020

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