No reserve wicket-keeper in India A squad for West Indies tour

Wriddhiman Saha is the only wicket-keeper in the 15-member India A squad to West Indies AFP

By Kushan Sarkar

New Delhi: Apr 27, 2012

The India ‘A’ squad that would tour West Indies during the month of June, for some surprising reason does not have a second wicketkeeper in the 15-member team which also includes a couple of players who haven’t had any worthwhile performance during the whole domestic season.

The Cheteshwar Pujara-led team has only one wicketkeeper in Wriddhiman Saha who is also the vice-captain of the team.

However, considering that the team is playing far away in the Caribbean islands, an injury to Saha would mean that there is no specialist glovesman to replace him.

Also to fly in a replacement would take some time unlike a destination like Sri Lanka or Bangaldesh.

India A are playing three 4-day matches, couple of T20s and three ODIs.

When PTI contacted one of the national selectors, he gave a bizarre reason, “Had it been a 16-member squad we could have picked a second ‘keeper but since we had to select 15, we had to stick to one wicketkeeper.”

The selectors are bound by BCCI diktat about not discussing selection policies but two names that would certainly raise eyebrows are that of Madhya Pradesh’s Jalaj Saxena and Uttar Pradesh paceman R P Singh.

The two notable omissions were Ranji Trophy’s highest wicket-taker TP Sudhindra and Duleep Trophy’s highest scorer Anustup Majumdar.

Madhya Pradesh all-rounder Saxena neither had any worthy performance with bat nor with ball. In seven Ranji matches, he scored 146 runs and got 11 wickets. In two Duleep Trophy matches, Saxena had scored 86 runs and taken three wickets.

In the five domestic one-day matches, he scored 85 runs and took seven scalps. Anustup, on the otherhand scored 348 runs to emerge as Duleep’s highest run-getter and had hat-trick of first-class centuries (one in Ranji and then back-to back in Duleep).

RP, who was sent to England on SOS basis has taken only 14 wickets in seven Ranji Trophy games compared to 40 wickets by Sudhindra in as many matches.