Wriddhiman Saha, India’s wicketkeeper-batsman, revealed a “difficult” conversation with India head coach Rahul Dravid a day after he was dropped from the Test team for the Sri Lanka series. Rather than taking the easy way out, Dravid believes in keeping players informed about selection decisions.
Rahul Dravid’s comments about Saha possibly not being selected in India’s Test team going forward stemmed from a “deep respect for Saha and his achievements and contributions to Indian cricket,” according to the head coach.
Rahul Dravid on Wriddhiman Saha
Following the South Africa tour, Saha told ESPNcricinfo that Dravid had expressed the team’s desire to groom a younger wicketkeeper as Rishabh Pant’s understudy and that he could “take some other decision” if he wanted.
Dravid was asked about the selection call shortly after India’s 3-0 series win over the West Indies, and how he felt about a private conversation being played out in public like this.
“I’m actually not hurt at all. I have deep respect for Wriddhi and his achievements and his contribution to Indian cricket. My conversation came from that place. I think he deserved honesty and clarity,” Dravid said.
“It’s about conversations I constantly have with players. I don’t expect players to always agree with everything I say about them. That’s not how it works. You can have difficult conversations with the players, but that doesn’t mean you brush it under the carpet and don’t have the conversations,” said the former India captain.
Dravid explained why he needed to speak with Saha, saying that Rishabh Pant had already established himself as the new No. 1 wicketkeeper across all formats and the Bengal man wouldn’t have had any chances going forward.
“I was just trying to convey that with RP (Pant) having established himself as our No.1 wicketkeeper-batsman, the idea was to say that we are looking to groom a younger wicketkeeper (KS Bharat). This doesn’t change my feelings or respect for Wriddhi. The easiest thing for me is to not have those conversations and not speak to players about it. That’s not what I am going to do. But at some stage, I hope they respect the fact that I was able to front up and have those conversations,” Dravid added.