Aiming to play as long as possible: Wriddhiman Saha

Wriddhiman Saha (Image credit: Getty Images/Sport360)

Kolkata: Ever since becoming a regular in Test cricket, wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha has proven his critics wrong with unbelievable performances. But the right-hander is well aware of the fact that there is a lot of competition for his spot in the Indian Test side.

Before India’s first Test against Sri Lanka commences, the Bengal wicketkeeper batsman spoke about playing under MS Dhoni and how important it is to play under MS Dhoni.

“It’s true that if Mahi bhai was still playing Test cricket, the amount he contributed … As a captain, he has won us so many trophies, and as a player, whatever we say is too little.

“Maybe I didn’t get a chance because he was around, maybe I got a chance once in a way but that was fair. Now my aim is to play for as long as possible,” said Saha, as quoted by Wisden India.

He also admitted the fact that there was a lot of competition for that spot of his in the national side and that he tries his best to keep on performing well.

“There are others in the line, and they are doing their best, exactly as I am. I am trying to play for as long as possible, and that’s the challenge. When you are outside, you do your best to put pressure on the person in front of you,” he said.

Saha also said that sledging was something that didn’t come naturally to him.
“As for me, I don’t think I have ever sledged, anywhere. It doesn’t come naturally to me. Actually, when I have been with Mahi bhai (Chennai Super Kings), I have seen that he also doesn’t sledge,” he admitted.

He added further, “He talks, as the captain he spoke to the players – the bowlers and the fielders – but he didn’t sledge. I don’t think I have ever seen him talk to individual batsmen. I guess that’s how I am too; I try to do my work quietly.”

Saha also spoke up about his Test career at length.

“From the start, my goal was to play as much as possible. I wanted to play for the Indian team too, but I didn’t get a chance early on. I got one or two Tests after long gaps when Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) wasn’t around for some reason or the other,” he said.

“That didn’t affect me much, but the idea was to try and grab the chance whenever it came and get a long run of matches for the Indian team. That has happened, so I am quite happy with my career so far.”

The extremely agile wicketkeeper batsman also said that although his primary focus lies in wicketkeeping, he still tries to improve his batting.

“I think I am still mainly a wicketkeeper. I am a wicketkeeper-batsman. From the time I was a child, I thought of myself as a wicketkeeper-batsman, not a batsman-wicketkeeper like a lot of people are,” said Saha.

He added further, “Of course, now it has become compulsory for wicketkeepers to be good batsmen as well, but I think my main job is to be a good wicketkeeper. But I do focus on my batting a lot more than I used to; I am expected to score runs, whether for Bengal or for India, so I spend more time in the nets. Scoring runs have helped. If you score runs, the confidence while keeping wickets also goes up.”

Recalling a Test match against Australia way back in 2014 in Adelaide, Saha regretted the fact that had he hung in there for some more time with Virat Kohli at the other end, the result of the match could have been entirely different.

He said, “We had a chance to win (chasing 364). Virat (Kohli, who scored 141) had asked me to bat positively, and I did. That was disappointing because I got out for 13 trying to hit a big one after hitting a six. “

“To return to the dressing room after letting go of a winning position is depressing. So I feel bad at times that when I was batting with Virat if I had batted for longer and given Virat more company, we could have won that Test. We lost in the end (by 48 runs).”

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