Home > Features >

Wriddhiman Saha: Idol for the new generation?

Wriddhiman Saha played with pluck and determination against Australia at Adelaide in 2012 © Getty Images (File Photo)
Wriddhiman Saha played with pluck and determination against Australia at Adelaide in 2012 © Getty Images (File Photo)

In a recent interview Wriddhiman Saha has been candid about his many preferences in the sport. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at a man who stands out in the Twenty20 crowd.

Less than a week back Wriddhiman Saha had captured the imagination of public and pundits with his blazing hundred — the first in an Indian Premier League (IPL) final; one would have expected him to go gaga over it, and possibly even brood over the step-motherly treatment dished out to him by the selectors (it is a difficult ask, of course, with MS Dhoni in the side).

In an interview with PTI, Saha’s reaction was exactly the opposite: “Although the context was completely different but I would rate the innings of 35 in the Adelaide Test and a century stand for the sixth wicket with Virat Kohli closer to my heart…Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle bowled during that phase. I played 94 balls and it was my second Test match. Till I got out, I wasn’t uncomfortable against pace and swing which gave me confidence that I can play at the highest level.”

Were these really the words uttered by an IPL hero hailed by the cricket fraternity?

The performance has probable made a case for Saha to get into the Indian side for his batting alone, but he has been practical enough to realise the fact: “I am practical about the fact. I won’t bat before Ajinkya [Rahane], Cheteshwar [Pujara] or Suresh [Raina]. So I would rather see myself as a keeper-batsman than other way round.”

Seriously? In an era where arrogance and haughtiness are so common that humility is being laughed at?

But Saha does not stop there. Not only does he rate his Test performances higher than the glamorous ones or is more level-headed than most: he is also loyal. In an era where international cricketers often shy from playing First-Class matches, the gloveman is not hesitant to play a level lower despite the risk of picking up injuries while throwing his body around on the bumpy Kolkata fields.

“It’s playing club cricket that I have reached this level. How can I ignore that? Shyambazar, Kalighat, Mohun Bagan made me what I am today. If I am free and can serve my club, I am not the one who would back away citing international tours.” Sunil Gavaskar and Kanga League, anyone?

Contemporary Indian cricket has its share of icons. Saha is not there yet. However, it would not harm the youngsters to idolise his attitude: not many have displayed sophistication, humility, and loyalty at the same time — provided the virtues have not become outdated.

The boy from Siliguri may have come a long way, but one can sense that his feet are still firmly rooted to the ground.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

Barbados Tridents vs Hobart Hurricanes, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions Perth Scorchers

Kagiso Rabada is a special talent, says selector Andrew Hudson

ICC late in pulling up bowlers with suspect actions, feels John Davison

CLT20 2014: It was a disappointing finish for Northern Knights, says Tim Southee

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

CLT20 2014 final match timing revised

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Prabhu Deva attend special screening of Shahid Kapoor-Shraddha Kapoor starrer Haider – View pics!

Asian Games 2014 Live Updates: MC Mary loses first round 9-10 to Zhaina Shekerbekova in Women’s 48-51 kg final

Haider movie review: Bollywood celebrities rave about Shahid Kapoor’s spectacular performance

Asian Games 2014: India go down fighting to Japan in men’s volleyball

Ebola in US: Will health authorities contain the spread of Ebola virus?

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Revealed: Aamir Khan’s new look – View pics!

Apple iPad Air 2 to have a gold variant, will be unveiled in October event: Report

NGOs pursue education for all

ICC late in pulling up bowlers with suspect actions, feels John Davison

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here