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WATCH | Patel Not Karthik Should Have Replaced Injured Saha For Tests: Mongia

Former wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia feels that India should have persisted with Parthiv Patel for the upcoming series against England following an injury to regular stumper Wriddhiman Saha. Mongia — who played 44 Tests and 140 ODIs for India — also said that it is a golden opportunity for Dinesh Karthik to display is credentials in the longest format but he also warned the Tamil Nadu star by saying that Test cricket is altogether a different ball game and things won't be easy for him in England.

Here is the transcript of Mongia's exclusive interview with CNN-News18 -

Can Dinesh Karthik step in for Wriddhiman Saha?

It’s unfortunate that Wriddhiman Saha was injured during IPL or before that and he aggravated that injury in the IPL. It’s very unfortunate, he was doing very well, and he was the number 1 wicket-keeper for India. But there is an opportunity for Dinesh Karthik as well. He needs to grab this opportunity. He did fantastically well in the T20s and ODIs. He is very experienced and has been there in the Indian team for very long time. But he has not been able to establish himself. It is a great opportunity, he is in great form and his confidence level is very high. The management has shown a lot of trust and confidence in him, so this is a golden chance for him.

On Karthik’s eye-catching performances in recent times

He has not shown a lot of consistency. This game is all about confidence. His confidence level is very high after that match winning T20 innings against Bangladesh. That has improved his wicketkeeping but again I say it is a difference ball game altogether when wicketkeeping in England. The ball is going to swing. The white ball is a difference game, In tests you need to keep for hundred overs or hundred twenty overs. You need to have a lot of confidence and concentration. You cannot afford to make a lot of mistakes that might cost the Indian team dearly

Was India right in leaving Parthiv Patel out of the squad?

After Wriddhiman Saha got injured, I would have persisted with Parthiv Patel because he was number 2 wicket-keeper in Test matches. He did reasonably well as a keeper and a batsman. He was asked to open when your opener got injured and he has got tons of experience and runs in domestic cricket. Karthik and Parthiv are at par when it comes to wicket-keeping, there’s not much of a difference at all. There is a difference between Saha and Parthiv, Saha or Karthik but there is not much of difference between Karthik and Parthiv. I would have persisted with Parthiv Patel as a second wicket-keeper in Test matches because you have selected him. You can’t drop one player after another only after a single series or two test matches.

Can Karthik grab this opportunity with both hands?

Karthik has got a lot of confidence from the team management and the selectors. He is doing well as a wicket-keeper. Even IPL, he did reasonably well as a batsman and a wicket-keeper but it is a different format altogether. White ball and red ball are a different game. But I only wish him good luck for the Test matches. I think you can’t get better opportunity than this. Being the number 1 wicket-keeper, you have got a free hand. A lot of trust has been shown by the team management and the selector and now is the time for him to take the chances.

Is Rishabh Pant ready to step up to the plate?

You can’t drop any player who hasn’t got any chances of playing in the first team. It’s very unfortunate it happens. You shown confidence in Rishabh Pant and I think you need to have faith in him. If Karthik doesn’t do well, he might have a chance. But I am sure Karthik will do well because his confidence level right now is very high. He has shown a lot of maturity. I only wish him good luck and I hope he establishes himself.

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