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 tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at London

More

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014  at Southampton

England won by 266 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Ajinkya Rahane needs to play decisive role

10 little-known facts about Sir Frank Worrell

Statistical analysis of Jacques Kallis’s ODI career

England England vs India England vs India 2014 Ian Bell India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 James Anderson Moeen Ali South Africa Sri Lanka

Ravindra Jadeja playing ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin in India’s tour of England a disaster, says Erapalli Prassana

Nasser Hussain praises Alastair Cook after victory in 3rd Test against India at Southampton

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s swollen ankle worries MS Dhoni ahead of 4th Test at Old Trafford

Sachin Tendulkar inaugurates shopping mall in Vijayawada

Ian Botham praises England’s performance in third Test against India

An open letter to Pankaj Singh

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Should Umesh Yadav be sent as cover for Ishant Sharma?

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Ajinkya Rahane needs to play decisive role

Faisal Iqbal: Political interference harmed my international career

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

658 Posts | 6 Fans

Sachin Tendulkar's nine dismissals against James Anderson

HP Gilt is the newest smartwatch in the block

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan should patch up, reveals an online survey!

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Ankit Tiwari, the priceless composer for Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan starrer Hamari Adhuri Kahaani!

Apple’s iPhone 6 may debut on October 14

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here