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Wriddhiman Saha lauds the team management for backing injured players

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

Team India Test wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha who scored his 2nd Test century today lauded the team management for giving the injured players an opportunity to make a comeback in the team once they are fully fit. He has hailed the team management’s backing of the injured players who has been consistent at the highest level as a “huge positive”.

Wriddhiman Saha missed out on the last 3 Tests against England after sustaining a thigh muscle injury and his replacement Parthiv Patel made full use of his opportunity and made some vital contributions. Despite his impressive showing, captain Kohli has made it pretty clear that Saha is their first choice keeper and will play automatically come into the Playing XI once fit.

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“It’s a great plus for the players (knowing their status). Because after an injury hiatus, when someone makes a comeback, if he is clearly told that “as and when you recover, you will be back in the team,” the individual gets more motivated and that reflects in his performance,” Saha was quoted as saying by Cricket Next.

Saha lauded Parthiv for grabbing his opportunity with both hands during the England series but conceded that people must accept the decision taken by the selectors. “When I got injured, Parthiv came in and performed. Whenever he has got chances, he has performed. But maybe, after my double hundred in the Irani Cup, selectors took a decision, which everybody needs to accept,” said the wicket-keeper.

Also read: Mitchell Swepson says he won’t get intimidated by the aura of Virat Kohli

Saha smashed a brilliant unbeaten double century in the Irani Cup tie against Gujarat in a crunch situation which helped Rest of India win the title for yet another time. Comparing the two bowling attacks, Saha said that Bangladesh being an international side had better bowlers than Gujarat but his approach in both the innings was same.

“This attack (Bangladesh) was more challenging than Gujarat attack as this one is an international attack. There is some difference but the approach was same like my second innings double hundred during Irani Cup. Initially, I got a reprieve but after that, I carried on with positive intent. My aim was to bat as long as possible and contribute as much as possible for the team,” Saha added.

Speaking about Virat Kohli’s LBW decision, Saha said as per the quotes on Sportskeeda, “During the first instance, I told him that he had stretched to play and the ball was turning. So he went for it and was not out. On the second occasion, I told him that impact might outside off. Even he wasn’t sure about it and feared that it could be umpire’s call. So, he walked away and decided to save one review for the team”.

Kohli who reached his double century in the company of Saha has always backed the batsman batting with him. “Whoever bats with Virat, he backs that batsman. He would always suggest us to play our natural game. He tells us “If you feel you can hit the ball, go for it. Not that if you are new to the crease you have to defend,” Saha said of Kohli.

“That’s why I tried playing that shot (referring to the missed stumping chance by Mushfiqur Rahim) but Virat said that it’s not a problem, if you again get a chance, hit it. He always gives you confidence which is a huge plus,” added Wriddhiman. Despite scoring two Test centuries Saha rates his twin half-centuries against New Zealand in Kolkata as a better knock than both his centuries.

Also read: I wasn’t surprised to learn that I was made the captain: Rishabh Pant

“I value the two half-centuries against New Zealand more because the team needed my contribution, needed partnerships and quality of (New Zealand) bowling were also good. We needed to set a target of around 300 and taking all these factors into account, those two knocks were vital.”

Saha was 17 runs away from his 2nd Test hundred in the beginning of the post-tea session and India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar suggested him to take it easy as a century is always a special effort. “At the break, Sanjay bhai told me that you need 17 runs, so first play with straight bat and score those 17 runs and then try to hit. 100 is a special milestone, more so for me as I have played only 20 odd Tests. That’s why I took the approach suggested by Sanjay bhai,” Saha revealed.

Wriddhiman concluded by saying that getting a life on 4 was nothing but destiny. “Yes, I would term it luck as he tried but couldn’t hit the stump. When he got it right second time, I was inside the crease. So possibly, I was destined to get a hundred and that’s why he couldn’t effect that stumping he signed off laughing.

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