He was sidelined due to injury in the later half of the India-England test series. But Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha is back in business with a match winning double century for Rest of India team in the Irani Trophy final against Ranji champion Gujarat. Following this knock he will be India’s first-choice keeper for the upcoming series against Bangladesh and Australia.
The Bengal cricketer opens up to Cricketsoccer about his batting, form and expectations from the upcoming historic Test against Bangladesh. Here are the excerpts:
Cricketsoccer (CS): How was the feeling after scoring the double ton in a final match, that too against the Ranji champion Gujarat?
Wriddhiman Saha (WS): Oh, it was obviously a very special experience as it was my first double century in first class cricket. I was making a comeback after recovering from the thigh injury. I had played some matches for Mohunbagan in local cricket in Kolkata. But performing at a national level final is always a pleasant memory. And as for the double ton, yes, very satisfying. I had a few knocks of 150s in domestic cricket. But it really felt great to score a 200 plus.
CS. Have you totally recovered from the injury?
WS: I have spent a long time in the middle, both with the bat and keeping gloves. I have felt no uneasiness. I am completely fine.
CS. Parthiv Patel replaced you in Indian team during the England test series and made runs. Is there any added pressure on you?
WS: Not at all. I’m absolutely relaxed. See, I think the very concept of me and Parthiv fighting for a spot in the Indian team is baseless. It’s an assumption by a part of the media. Please don’t get me wrong. Both me and Parthiv are players and it’s our duty to perform for the team when needed. Even I and Parthiv didn’t ever speak on this matter. I believe only those cricketers get a chance to play for the nation who are required by the team. It’s not about getting runs in a particular match. There is no rivalry between Parthiv and me.
CS: You just played a five-day final and now preparing for the Syed Mustaq Ali T20 tournament and again, you are most likely to play a Test match against Bangladesh. How difficult is it for a cricketer to play good cricket in all the formats, especially when you have to shuffle so rapidly?
WS: It’s all about how you adapt to the situation. You have to be calm. Personally, I think test match is the most difficult format as it tests your skill as well as mental toughness. If you become successful in Test, you are bound to get success in the other two formats.
CS: India will be facing Bangladesh in a few days time, from the Indian team’s point of view, what are you expecting from the Test match?
WS: Well, it’s going to be a tough match. Bangladesh, as a team has improved a lot in the last few years. They are a very balanced side. They have some quality spinners and batsmen who can get runs against spin. Moreover, the condition of India is much alike the condition of Bangladesh. So they may find themselves in a familiar condition which is quite an encouragement for any team in the world. One thing I must say, Bangladesh will be a tougher opponent than England. They will be more competitive.
CS: Young off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz has been sensational in Bangladesh’s last home series against England. As a batsman, have you made any special preparation for tackling him?
WS: Frankly speaking, I haven’t seen his bowling yet. So no special planning how to tackle him, as of now. But have heard about his success against England.
CS: So who do you think has the upper hand in the coming Test match?
WS: Bangladesh is playing good cricket. But what we are playing is a better brand of cricket. I believe one or two exceptional performance will make the difference. Playing on the home soil, India obviously has the upper hand. But we have to play our best cricket.