Home > News >

Wriddhiman Saha rates 35-run innings in Adelaide Test above IPL century

Wriddhiman Saha scored the first IPL century in a final against Kolkata Knight Riders © IANS
Wriddhiman Saha scored the first IPL century in a final against Kolkata Knight Riders © IANS

By Kushan Sarkar

New Delhi: Jun 4, 2014

Wriddhiman Saha has been the focus of attention after a magnificent hundred in the IPL final, but the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) wicketkeeper-batsman rates a long-forgotten 35-run Test knock in Australia higher than his latest feat.

“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,” Saha told PTI in an interview.

“I am proud of the century in IPL final but that was a Test match. Virat was batting brilliantly and I could support him in his bid for the maiden Test hundred,” the reticent wicketkeeper-batsman said.

“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. This IPL century would have tasted sweeter but need to accept that KKR [Kolkata Knight Riders] collectively batted better than us. We could never stop them from maintaining that run-rate,” added the 29-year-old Bengal stumper.

Saha also revealed how he dealt with Sunil Narine — against whom he got four out of his eight sixes. “Since I was playing Narine for the first time, I decided that I won’t try to pick him from his hand. Rather, I decided to stay on the backfoot and wait for that extra split second so that ball does what it intends to do. Rocking back helped me execute those slog pulls effectively,” the glovesman explained.

Does 362 runs in this IPL with a healthy 32 plus average and 145 plus strike-rate make him a batsman-keeper? Saha responded emphatically, “Absolutely not. I am a specialist wicketkeeper whose job is to also do well with the bat. Keeping was, is and will remain the top-most priority. For example, in this upcoming tour of Bangladesh, I will not bat higher than No 6 or No 7. 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,” said Saha, who has played two Tests and three ODIs apart from 60 first-class, 84 List A and 105 Twenty20 matches.

Did he personally believe that he could score a century off 50 balls, the normally shy Saha answered,”If you look at the domestic scoresheets, I have had lot of innings in List A and T20s where I have scored at a strike-rate in excess of 140. If I get some time to settle down, I know I have the range to hit the big shots. I have the strength to clear any boundary in the world.”

He admits that the switch to Kings XI Punjab did help him a lot as he got more chances. “Look, it was natural that with MS [Dhoni] around in CSK [Chennai Super Kings], I would have limited opportunities. Also I didn’t keep for CSK which I am doing here at KXIP. The more opportunities you get, more is your chance to succeed and strive for consistency.

“The century in the final was not just a one-day thing. I was playing such knocks including 54 off 26 against Sunrisers. This grabbed attention as the stage was big and it was a ton,” said the boy from Siliguri.

Talk about the tour of England where he will again be Dhoni’s understudy, he doesn’t want to look too far ahead. “There will be two practice games and MS will be coming back from a break. Therefore he would like some serious match-practice before the first Test. I am expecting to play one of the two first-class matches. Hopefully, I will do well and keep myself ready,” he said in a matter-of-fact manner.

He has been flooded with calls since the night of IPL final and the 29-year-old says that he is not good with calls. “If you get so many calls in a day and spend so much time talking on your cell-phone, it’s not a great thing. It can affect your health. So I try to keep my telephonic conversations to the minimum. Also I want to spend some time with my wife and little daughter [Anvi].”

Saha’s next cricketing assignment is on Saturday when he would turn up for his club Mohun Bagan in the Inter-Club T20 tournament for the J C Mukherjee trophy.

Asked about the possibility of injury playing these odd club matches before an international tour, he replied, “It’s playing club cricket that I have reached this level. How can I ignore that? The Shambazar, 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.”

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4: Pragyan Ojha dismisses Mahesh Rawat; Central Zone 219 for 5

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Robin Bist completes 4,000 First Class runs

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Pakistan vs Australia Live Cricket Score, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 3

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Brad Haddin feels he will be able to bat despite injury

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here