Kolkata: India wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha said on Monday that India would aim to win the first Test against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens which would help them set the tone for the remaining two matches.
After the first practice session of the Indian team, Saha said, “We are yet to see the wicket but the first target is to win the first Test and get momentum to win the series.”
India would tour South Africa early next year and it would be an entirely different challenge against the Proteas in their home conditions but the 33-year-old said that it was all about taking one match at a time.
“Every match is important and poses a different challenge, there’s nothing like preparation. We will go match by match. If we do better here then we will think of the SA series,” he said.
The Bengal lad also said that veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is ahead of the others and it is indeed a tough challenge to keep behind the same especially with the right-arm tweaker possessing so many variations.
“Ashwin is ahead of others. He has got many variations, also the length varies, so it’s tough against him. He has more variation than (Ravindra) Jadeja, Kuldeep (Yadav).”
He also added, “We have played many matches in Ranji, India A and during practice. The more you keep, the better idea you develop. It becomes easier after a point. I’ve always played with them in all my 28 Tests.”
Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav are the three spinners in India’s arsenal for the Test series and each of them is very different from the other. Saha said that the key to deal with the spinners is to read the hand at the point of release.
“Your 50 per cent job is done mainly by reading the hand at the point of release then you see how it bounces off the pitch and turns. The challenge is to hold on to all the balls, even if it turns or not,” he said.
Saha also chose Ranji Trophy teammate Mohammad Shami and the tall Ishant Sharma ahead of the swing bowlers who are difficult to keep against.
He said, “The ball wobbles after it goes past and it becomes tough for the wicketkeepers too. But being swing bowlers, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar there’s not much of a problem.”
When asked as to whether they would go with three spinners in the first Test, Saha said, “Ultimately we will decide as per the wicket and see who gets maximum purchase from the wicket.”
Earlier this year, Dhoni had relinquished his captaincy but despite that, the World Cup winning skipper continues to give his inputs to the current skipper Virat Kohli from behind the stumps. Similarly, it is Saha, who gives his inputs to Kohli in Test cricket.
He said, “The team management has decided that anyone can give a feedback. Kohli is usually in the slip cordon so I convey my inputs. But the ultimate decision is of the captain.”
“It’s about being confident and conveying it to the captain. You should never have any doubt,” he also added.