Former cricketers hail Wriddhiman Saha as perfect replacement for Dhoni

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Wriddhiman Saha India
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Wriddhiman Saha. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Indian wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha proved to be the ideal support for Cheteshwar Pujara in the third Test against Australia. He scored a brilliant 117 runs that helped India take a lead of over 150 in the first innings. Not so long ago, the talented wicket keeper was struggling to make it to the national side. It was not his fault though. It was about the fact that he was playing in the same era when MS Dhoni was playing for India.

After Dhoni’s retirement, Wriddhiman Saha became the first choice wicket keeper for India in the longest format. Now, with his consistent showing with the bat, Saha has managed to draw praises from all corners. Former cricketers have heaped praises on him and have hailed him as the ideal replacement for Dhoni in Test cricket. The former Indian wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani commended the way Saha has focused on his batting. He went on to quote him as the best wicket keeper in world cricket at the moment.

“This was the best ton from Wridhiman Saha comparing to his last two Test centuries. Though the Ranchi wicket was much easier to bat after what we saw in the previous two Tests at Pune and Bengaluru, but The Australian bowlers were bowling well and scoring runs were not that easy for the batsmen. Pujara batted cautiously and on the other hand it was Saha, who played all the shots today to keep scoreboard moving. I had already said that there are no questions about his wicket-keeping,” quoted Syed Kirmani.

“According to me he is the best wicket-keeper in world cricket right now and now he is showing his mental strength as a batsman too. Wriddhiman played some brilliant shots against a world-class spinner like Nathan Lyon when he was very close to his century, which shows he is a fearless cricketer,” he added further.

However, he said that Dhoni was a class apart and his records speak volumes for his contribution to the game. Now, after a whirlwind 117, Saha has just showed he has it in him to be good enough.

“Dhoni is a brand for world cricket. His record as captain in Tests might not be that great but as a wicket-keeper batsman he is from another planet. After today’s innings Saha has shown the world that he is a good batsman too but there is no comparison between him and Dhoni,” conceded Kirmani.

Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer and former selector Kiran More also spoke on the same lines. He noted that albeit there were a lot of criticism on Dhoni’s wicketkeeping, his aura can be unmatched. He cited that it is very unlikely that the team will find a wicket keeper like MS Dhoni in the next decade or two.

“I was the Chairman of the selection committee when Dhoni started his career for India. He got his chance in the ODI team as a pinch hitter. After that he played Test cricket and scored a double ton against Australia in 2013 with his unconventional batting style and helped India to win many Test matches. I have heard a lot of criticism about Dhoni’s wicket-keeping, but in my point of view he is the best wicket-keeper that Indian cricket team ever have. Wriddhiman is a great wicket-keeper and I had also praised him in various times. But there is no comparison between Saha and Dhoni. According to me India will never get a wicket-keeper batsman like Dhoni in next ten or fifteen years,” said Kiran More as per the quotes in Xtratime.in.

Former Indian skipper Ajit Wadekar also joined the discussions. He was pleased with the way Saha played in the Ranchi Test to put India in a commanding position. He noted that a result in the favor of India is the only outcome possible in the match. He also congratulated Cheteshwar Pujara for his magnificent double ton.

“I think Saha’s century is as important as Pujara’s double ton. When Saha came to bat India was in big trouble, as it might go in Australia’s favor too if India lost another wicket on that time. The seventh wicket stand of 199 runs between these two crickets have helped India to cement their position in this Test match. They won’t lose from this position, either India will win or the match will end as a draw,” Ajit Wadekar quoted.

“I want to congratulate Pujara for his third double century but Saha will get more praise from me, as he was the batsman who played all the shots against the spinners like Nathan Lyon and Steve o’keefe to keep the scoreboard moving on a fouth day pitch. In near future Saha may surpass Dhoni’s record in Test cricket but according to me Dhoni is a player from a different planet and no one match him,” he added further.

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