Kolkata: MS Dhoni’s shock retirement from Test cricket in 2014 not only left the fans distraught but also the Indian team, for they would miss the services of a lightning fast man behind the stumps.
Then out of the blue came along the Bengal lad Wriddhiman Saha, who has although taken his time but now has filled in that role with a good amount of success and his athleticism combined with excellent wicketkeeping skills make him one of the best in the business today.
However, this isn’t anything new to former Bengal captain Sambaran Banerjee, who has been saying for the past few years that the 32-year old Wriddhiman is the best man behind the stumps.
“I have been saying for the past three-four years that Wriddhiman is the best man behind the stumps. As a batsman, Dhoni is much better but behind the stumps, Wriddhiman is the best,” said Sambaran Banerjee while speaking to SportsCrunch on the sidelines of an event at the Calcutta Sports Journalist’s Club on Thursday.
He further added, “Wriddhiman is one of the best in the world. Although I wouldn’t call him number one now since there are keepers like De Kock and others but he is definitely one of the best.”
Banerjee is a legendary figure in Bengal cricket, having led his team to their second Ranji Trophy title in the 1989-1990 season. It was under him that one of India’s greatest cricketer and captain-Sourav Ganguly made his debut and ever since his retirement, he has played an instrumental role in shaping up the future of Bengal cricket through his roles as the coach and selector.
He was the chairman of the selection committee when Wriddhiman Saha got selected to play for Bengal. Thus he has seen the wicketkeeper grow at close quarters and evolve into a better cricketer. Perhaps that’s why he believes that although he might be one of the best in the world now, the bigger challenge that awaits him is when India would tour countries like England, South Africa and Australia where the pitches are quick and offer a lot of bounce.
He said, “Now we have to see how he performs in South Africa, England and Australia where the pitches have a lot of bounce and where the ball moves.”
Talking about the best cricketer from Bengal at this point of time, he absolutely had no second thoughts mentioning the name of the 25-year old Sudip Chatterjee. The stylish left-hander is currently a part of the India A squad that is in South Africa for two four-day games against the hosts.
“Sudip Chatterjee, he is the best. He is playing in South Africa now and I had a talk with him over the phone.”