Ahead of the second Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series, former Indian cricketer Pragyan Ojha has backed Wriddhiman Saha to play in the Boxing Day Test against Australia starting December 26 in Melbourne, saying the veteran deserves a second chance after Adelaide failure.
Former spinner has admitted Saha’s form as the Bengal veteran could manage only 9 runs off 26 balls in the first innings and just 4 in second innings in the first defeated Day-Night Test in Adelaide, but feels the Indian team management must show their belief on senior players, saying Saha “can do wonders”.
Ojha further added that the team management must give the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman one more chance in the Boxing Day Test since Saha has played just one Test on the Australia tour and if he is out of the playing XI, there is “no U-turn for him”.
However, he believes that Prithvi Shaw should go back to domestic cricket and score those runs and make India comeback after his horrendous outing in the 1st Test against Australia while suggesting Shubman Gill as a replacement for the young opener for the MCG Test.
Ojha told Sports Today on Sunday: “I think yes, Prithvi Shaw, after looking at his batting. It is definitely Shubman Gill who should get a chance. Prithvi should now focus on domestic cricket because that is where he can play, get those runs, and make a comeback.”
He further explained, “I was backing Rishabh Pant for the first Test because of his batting. It was a pink ball and I was thinking that if Rishabh plays, he will get you those crucial runs. But now you are talking about a 36-year old guy (Saha). He has just played 1 Test and if he is out of this team, there is no U-turn for him, so you give him one more chance.”
Ojha signed off by saying, “If you look at Prithvi Shaw, he is totally out of this tournament, he is not there mentally. I don't find the same thing with Saha. Yes, we got out for 36. But the most important thing is that you have to show your belief in senior players. I feel Wriddhi can do wonders. One game and you do so many changes, I think it will hurt further. I feel you should give him one more chance.”
(With India Today Inputs)