Saha Should Play 2nd Test Instead Of Pant: Syed Kirmani

One of India's greatest wicket-keepers, Syed Kirmani, said that any player should picked on the basis of pure performance

Photo: AFP

A former chairman of selectors and member of the 1983 World Cup winning side, Syed Kirmani, wants Bengal veteran wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha to be named in India's playing XI when they take on Windies in second Test at Jamaica. Veteran Kirmani feels that Pant, who has left everyone disappointed with his dismal batting in the World Cup and ongoing Windies tour, still has a "lot to learn".

Kirmani, one of India's greatest wicket-keepers, said that any player should picked on the basis of pure performance. Syed feels that Saha, who performed brilliantly in the domestic circuit deserved to be pushed ahead of Pant.

"Yeh abhi jhule main hai (He is still in his infancy). But he is God gifted but needs to learn a lot," Kirmani told PTI.

"It's the most difficult position on the field. Not everyone can do keeping by just wearing a pair of gloves," said Kirmani.

"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," Kirmani questioned.

"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.

The 69-year-old also seemed a trifle irritated with constant speculation over Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future.

"Leave him alone. There will be a time when he will retire, but we must stop talking about his retirement now."

Kirmani however wants Dhoni to groom the youngsters in the side before calling it quits.

On the issue of Conflict of interest, Kirmani seemed to be on the same page with Justice Lodha panel's verdict that there can't be multiple sources of earning for any player.

"If anyone violates this clause, you're liable to be questioned as it is conflict of interest. You cannot be earning from multiple sources. Why give room to any allegations?

"I want to generalise here. Be honest and sincere in all your deeds, that is my message to one and all," Kirmani said.

"If you have done something wrong. You maybe whoever, you will be pulled up by the law. There is no such thing as 'I'm so and so'," Kirmani added.

The 69-year-old like most of the experts agreed that Virat Kohli's consistency is second to none.

"The kind of consistency I have seen in Virat Kohli, I've neither seen in any cricketer of my era nor the current era. He has a got a great phenomenal consistency. He is a game-changer. He could be breaking the existing records of Tendulkar if he continues his consistency," he signed off.