I knew that if MS Dhoni is playing, I will not get to play: Wriddhiman Saha
Saha has donned the Indian jersey in 37 Tests in which he has scored 1238 runs at an average of 45.51.
Updated - May 17, 2020 5:06 pm
Wriddhiman Saha played his first Test match for Team India way back in 2010. Despite breaking into the national side a decade ago, Saha got the chance of donning the Indian jersey in only 37 Tests. One of the prime reasons behind the wicketkeeper-batsman’s absence from the squad was the presence of former India skipper MS Dhoni.
Dhoni was already the captain when Wriddhiman Saha made his debut and remained the captain till his retirement in 2014. During those years, Saha had no other option but to wait until he gets one golden opportunity.
Saha, in a recent interview, recollected his Test debut and revealed the events which led to him getting the rare opportunity. Saha also opened up about not getting enough chances while Dhoni was present in the national squad. According to the Bengal player, he didn’t replace Dhoni but instead got a chance to play more frequently after his retirement.
“I didn’t replace MS Dhoni, I got chance after he left playing Test cricket. The Test in which I debuted, VVS Laxman was not playing because of finger injury. Rohit Sharma was called to replace him (in Nagpur Test match vs South Africa) as he had scored a good hundred in the Board President match,” Wriddhiman Saha was quoted as saying by India Today.
“On the match day during the practice, Rohit collided with me. Both of us got ankle injury but he got it more. MS Dhoni was going for toss and I was giving throw downs to Subramaniam Badrinath, on his way told me ‘Saha tu khel rha h (Saha you are playing)’.”
“Garry Kirsten had told me MS Dhoni is in the team and so you will not play. He asked me to do my own practice. That’s why I played the net bowlers and then directly went on to play Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. MS Dhoni had set his standard and I learn from him till date,” he added.
There are a lot of things to learn from Dhoni: Wriddhiman Saha
Saha also heaped praise on Dhoni and said that there’s a lot to learn from his batting and keeping style. According to Saha, nobody likes to sit outside but he was left with no option when an in-form Dhoni was an indispensable part of the Indian squad. Saha learnt the maximum during that period and delivered it on the field whenever he got the opportunity to perform.
“His keeping or batting style, his stumping in fraction of seconds, there are a lot of things to learn. He 2-4 years older to me, I was knowing that if MS Dhoni is playing I will not get to play. Nobody likes sitting outside but with MS Dhoni in the team there is no option left. So, I learnt the maximum from and performed whenever given chance. I asked him during the Nagpur Test match that who would keep. He said ‘obviously I will keep, you are a good fielder, you go and field’,” he said.
Saha has donned the Indian jersey in 37 Tests in which he has scored 1238 runs at an average of 45.51. The 35-year-old also has three tons and 12 half-centuries under his belt along with 92 catches and 11 stumpings.