New Delhi: Former India wicketkeeper and the assistant coach of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders Vijay Dahiya feels it's difficult for young wicketkeepers to get a break when the captain of the national side is a wicketkeeper himself.
Talking to Cricketnext at the sidelines of the inauguration of Coca Cola Under-16 Cricket Cup for Indian schools, Dahiya said though Wriddhiman Saha's glovework is best at the moment, Parthiv Patel has an advantage as far as second-choice wicketkeepers were concerned.
"Saha’s glovework is one of the best in the country. But the other thing is to play for a country when your captain is a wicketkeeper; it is a difficult time for him to break into the national side, but on and off he has been a member of the Test side. There is touch and go between Saha, Parthiv and Dinesh Karthik (as second-choice wicketkeepers).”
Former India wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya feels a wicketkeeping captain limits the chances of other wicketkeepers to break into Team India. (Getty Images)
Dahiya added that performance in the domestic circuit decides who gets the nod to be selected as the back-up wicketkeeper.
"Whoever gets the better first class season, always gets a nod. We had seen earlier when Karthik was making lots of runs in first class cricket, he got the nod. Then he had a very mediocre season last year, Saha got the break."
However, the former stumper was critical of Patel opening for India in the one-dayers, saying that it is a specialised job.
"When you're selecting an Indian team, opening is a specialised job. He (Patel) doesn’t open for his state; he plays in the middle order. I would say why there are two wicketkeepers playing in the team. There are a couple of good openers in the country. Shikhar Dhawan is doing very well, you have Abhinav Mukund. When you are doing well, that's the time to get a break.
"Where you also miss out on Patel is his fielding, somebody else could be a better fielder. And there are a couple of good youngsters who are doing really well," he said.
The KKR coach also touched upon the fast bowling resources in India and named Mohammad Shami as a possible future star.
"There is a fast bowler by the name of Mohammad Shami; he consistently bowls 140 kmph. He is someone who should be looked after."
On Harbhajan Singh being axed from India's ODI squad, Dahiya hinted the off-spinner should concentrate more on Test cricket.
“It's the first time he has been dropped in his career. He will definitely be hungry to prove a point and come back with a vengeance. I definitely see him coming back. But you might see him playing in the longer version of the game more, and somebody else might play in the shorter version."