Visakhapatnam:Wriddhiman Saha will be wicket-keeper in the first of the three-Test series against South Africa beginning here at ACA-VDCA Stadium, on October 2, while wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant has failed to find a place in the playing eleven due to his struggling form.
While Virat Kohli will continue to lead the side and Ajinkya Rahane will be his deputy, the upcoming Test will witness Rohit Sharma, India's vice-captain in the limited overs format, opening the batting against the red ball.
Wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, who was sidelined following a shoulder injury, will stand behind the stumps for the first time since he last played a Test in January 2018. It was Rishabh Pant who kept wickets during India's last Test series in the Caribbean.
"The Indian captain called him the best wicket-keeper in the world currently and said that he was quite close to breaking into the XI in the Caribbean too. "Saha's keeping credentials are there for everyone to see.
He's played well for us whenever he's got a chance with the bat for us also. It was unfortunate that he was out for such a long period with an injury, and according to me he's the best keeper in the world. In these conditions, and with what he's done for us in the past, he'll start for us," Virat said at the pre-match press conference here on Tuesday.
R Ashwin, India's premier off spinner, will also return to the playing XI following his last outing in the Adelaide Test. Like Saha, Ashwin too was part of the Indian squad but did not feature in any of the three Tests in the Caribbean. The spin bowling duties will be shared by Ravindra Jadeja and also have an additional option in Hanuma Vihari.
India squad for first Test:
Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wicet-keeper), Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.(UNI)