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).”
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."