At the start of 2015 – when India toured Australia for a four-match Test series, MS Dhoni had decided to hand over the Test captaincy baton to Virat Kohli. Since then Team India under Kohli is doing wonders in the longest format of the game, however, they are still missing the services of a quality gloveman who can consistently contribute with the bat.
Even though Wriddhiman Saha is top-notch behind the wicket, he is nowhere close to Dhoni as a batsman, especially in overseas conditions. As Saha sat out with a hamstring niggle in the ongoing second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park Centurion, the 32-year-old Parthiv Patel took his place in India playing XI. Unfortunately for India, Parthiv made quite a few errors behind the stumps.
Considering the way things have panned out for India since Dhoni’s retirement from the 5-day game, legendary India opener Sunil Gavaskar has said that the Jharkhand man should have continued playing Test cricket even after giving up the captaincy.
Gavaskar believes that Dhoni’s street smartness and razor-sharp advice would have been invaluable for Virat Kohli. Nonetheless, the batting great respects the World Cup-winning skipper’s decision.
“If MSD [Dhoni] wanted to carry on, he could have carried on. Clearly, I think he might have had too much of captaincy [burden]. I would have actually liked him to maybe give up captaincy and still stay in the team as wicketkeeper-batsman because his advice in the dressing room would have been invaluable. Maybe he thought that the best course for him was to not to be there,” Gavaskar quoted while speaking on Sony Ten 1 TV ahead of fourth day’s play in Centurion.
The 68-year-old also asserted that India has missed Saha’s keeping skills in this match, but backed Parthiv to come good.
“Wriddhiman Saha has been missed. There is no question about it. His keeping is at an altogether different level,” Gavaskar opined.
“Parthiv Patel though is a competitive wicketkeeper. He is a little fighter as we can see when he gets the bat in his hand. However, sometimes with the gloves, he can have a little bit of an issue.
“We saw with that missed opportunity [Elgar on Day 3]. If we had gone for it and dropped it, then there would have been no issues. But not going for a catch does make you feel a little bit disappointed,” he concluded.
Dhoni is currently in India and will travel to South Africa for India’s limited-overs leg after the conclusion of three-match test series. India is scheduled to play six ODIs and three T20Is against the Proteas from February 1.
By Salman Anjum