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Understanding with Ashwin has improved: Wriddhiman Saha

Wriddhiman Saha India
Wriddhiman Saha of India celebrates his century during day 2 of the 3rd Test. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)

The man behind the stumps for India in Test cricket, Wriddhiman Saha had a good series recently in the West Indies, as he silenced his critics with a century and some phenomenal batting partnerships with Ravichandran Ashwin.

Saha brought up his maiden Test century in the series against Windies as he added a partnership of 200 for the 6th wicket along with Ashwin. He believes that his understanding with Ashwin has improved in course of the series.

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“Ashwin has been playing for a longer time than me. But yes, in the last three to four series that I have been consistently part of, our understanding has improved. I hope that will help the team’s cause,” Saha was quoted by IANS.

“I tell him which line to bowl at times, which position is better and the length to bowl to a particular batsman. In the batting department, I can talk about that innings where he told me to wait for the loose ball and take my time. We were doing that. My understanding with Ashwin while keeping to him has helped better our running between the wickets,” he added.

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Ashwin – The hardest to keep wickets:

The wicket keeper feels that Ashwin in the hardest to keep wickets among the Indian spin trio of Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Amit Mishra. “On turning tracks, he gets sharp turn and bounce since he is tall. Jadeja is not always a huge turner of the ball, and Amit is slow with not as much bounce. So, yes, Ashwin is the toughest.”

Considering the pacers, he said that Umesh Yadav hits his gloves the hardest. “Consistently, Umesh is the fastest. It varies from spell to spell though. At times, due to the bounce he generates, Ishant is quite fast.”

Batting is important, but firstly consider myself as a wicketkeeper:

Ahead of the Caribbean tour, Saha has faced a lot of criticism because of his poor performance with the bat, but he responded well in the series with the bat. He said that he would like to continue contributing to the team’s success. “I do concentrate on my batting though I haven’t had many big scores. I like to contribute to the team’s cause and the hundred against West Indies surely boosted my morale. I know batting is important, but first I consider myself as a wicketkeeper as I am in the team because of that.”

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He said that the skipper, Virat Kohli and the head coach Anil Kumble made his job easier. “Anil Bhai knows how to bond with players. He always tells us how to approach a match. He doesn’t try to change much. He believes we all should play our natural game.”

“They always told me a hundred is just around the corner. The entire team was so happy when I reached the milestone,” added the 31-year-old.

Saha believes that an Indian coach is always better than a foreign counterpart as the Indian coach has the opportunity to know the player from very younger age. “Someone like Anil Bhai has seen us play from a very young age. That is not possible for a foreign coach. Indian coaches get to see us in the IPL and the domestic circuit. So it is definitely better to have an Indian coach than a foreign coach.”

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Speaking about the upcoming series, he said that it won’t be an easy series but India will hold the advantage being the hosts. “We need also to play well on turning pitches. They will probably play two spinners and one all-rounder that could add up to three spinners. We will hold the advantage as the hosts. They will need to acclimatise.”

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