Home > Features >

Wriddhiman Saha’s ton in IPL 2014 final may prove to be turning point in fledgling career

India have to utilise Wriddhiman Saha’s (above) potential as they need a sound backup to MS Dhoni © IANS
India have to utilise Wriddhiman Saha’s (above) potential as they need a sound backup to MS Dhoni © IANS

Wriddhiman Saha’s ton in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 final may help change the course of his career. He scored an unbeaten 115 for Kings XI Punjab against Kolkata Knight Riders. The effort went in vain as KKR won their second IPL title in the end. But the innings from Saha could prove to be the turning point in his career, writes Nishad Pai Vaidya.

Wriddhiman Saha would quietly go about his job on most days. His wicket-keeping is clean and he goes unnoticed behind the stumps; with the bat in hand he normally has a conventional approach. But, on the big day, he delivered for the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and helped them post a huge total in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 final. It was an innings that showcased his ability, which seemed to have been hidden in this format. It is unfortunate that he did not end up on the winning side, but this ton could well be the turning point of his career.

Through the season, KXIP have handed Saha the responsibility of batting in the top-order. On many occasions, he has been sent ahead of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller to provide the stability and then get on with it. Early in the IPL, he did get off to starts, but couldn’t convert it. Then came his half-century against Mumbai Indians. He started off slowly, but then attacked to make up for that start. Even then, one felt he had some distance to go to settle into the format.

Perhaps, the innings that changed Saha’s approach was the one against Sunrisers Hyderabad. In the face of a 200-plus total, Saha was sent in at No 3 when Virender Sehwag fell in the first over. Saha then fearlessly took on the bowling and carted a half-century inside 22 deliveries. It wasn’t just that he took on the bowling, but played good cricketing shots along the way. Thus, he did not move outside his zone and backed his game to deliver the results.

It was that approach that helped him come up on top against Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla. He used his feet and lofted them with a straight bat. However, his approach while facing Narine was interesting. He waited on the back-foot, eyeing the ones pitched short and waiting until the last minute to play his shots. That was a vindication of sorts as he successfully took on one of the most successful bowlers in T20 cricket.

Saha has been an understudy to MS Dhoni for a few years. In Test cricket, he has been the No 2 wicketkeeper on overseas tours. He has sound wicket-keeping technique and collects the deliveries at a good height. His batting has been gritty in the two Tests he has played so far. In One-Day Internationals (ODIs), Saha was trumped by Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik. However, this innings would show that he can be a handy batsman in one-day cricket as well.

With the Bangladesh tour coming up, Saha gets a chance to establish himself as the understudy to Dhoni in ODIs. He will get the three games as a wicketkeeper and that will help him make an impression. India have to utilise his potential as they need a sound backup to Dhoni. Saha has shown confidence in the past, but his batting has also come to the party now.

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

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


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


Barbados Tridents vs Hobart Hurricanes, CLT20 2014


Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Mitchell Marsh helps Perth Scorchers clinch 3-wicket victory against Lahore Lions in CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Barbados Tridents win by 6 wickets

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

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Have Manish Pandey’s T20 performances eclipsed his impressive First-Class record?

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

Afghanistan through to semi-finals in Asian Games 2014; beat Nepal by 8 runs

Matthew Maynard named new director of Somerset

New Zealand announce squad for Pakistan series in UAE in November

Yorkshire duo Adam Lyth. Alex Lees eye England honours after awards

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights, Match 20, CLT20 2014: Barbados register 6-wicket win in final group match

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

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 CLT20 2014: Lahore likely XI

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

Sex after pregnancy — how to get her in the mood

US say hackers targeted Microsoft, game makers

Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Abhishek Bachchan back in the city after SLAM! The Tour

Asian Games 2014 Live Updates: Aarti Khakal crashes out in Round of 32 of Women’s 57kg Taekwondo event

Anil Kapoor to build his own film studio?

Microsoft’s Windows 10 unveiled

Health Minister says UHAM to be world’s largest public health insurance programme

Asian Games 2014 Medal Table: Japan 3rd in the Medal Tally with 38 Gold Medals

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here