Many in India believe Wriddhiman Saha will inherit the gloves from the national captain.
Doubt has been cast over the Indian cricket team and special criticism has been reserved for captain MS Dhoni. It is predictable that the man leading a side would receive the most flack when they are performing badly, but who could feasibly fill Dhoni’s place behind the stumps.
One of the favourites is Wriddhiman Saha, who’s performances at the Irani Cup for Rest of India last year impressed many cricket pundits. His side went on to win the tournament and Saha made many admirers, most notably former Indian wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia.
“I saw him a couple of years ago in the IPL. He took a couple of catches and stumpings. But he affected a run-out under pressure at a crucial time,” Mongia told Wisden India.
“A ‘keeper has to perform under pressure, that’s how you know he’s good. He doesn’t fumble under pressure, he’s very sound.”
Saha has had very limited opportunities with the national squad, due to the extensive dominance of Dhoni. However he has appeared on a few occasions for the Test and one-day sides, performing solidly as a ‘keeper, but perhaps failing to impress with the bat.
Of course it is simply not enough for a wicket-keeper to be good when fielding, they also need to be able to score runs, particularly at international level. Although not all ‘keepers can be like Alec Stewart or Adam Gilchrist with the bat, they need to show some reliance.
Saha may have not had the opportunity to show his batting credentials at international level yet, but an average of 43.38 in first-class matches shows that the 28-year-old is far from a shrinking violet with the blade.
Dhoni will need to stay sharp if he does not want to lose him place.