Wriddhiman Saha has been one of the most consistent players for Kings XI Punjab    AFP
Wriddhiman Saha has been one of the most consistent players for Kings XI Punjab AFP

Wriddhiman Saha has been a busy man. He was in exceptional form playing for India in the gruelling home season, scoring 442 runs. But now, playing for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Saha has had to drastically shift his batting gears from the longest format of the game to the shortest. Saha is hoping to emulate his performance from the 2014 edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), wherein he played some big knocks and took them to the final, scoring a hundred off 49 balls. It was also a season when IPL’s first half was moved to the UAE, where Kings XI Punjab won all their matches.

Saha spoke with the reporters ahead of KXIP’s clash against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). According to PTI, he said, “When we played in Dubai, we played with a free mind in the initial five matches. We could carry that momentum to the final. We are trying to do that this year as well.” KXIP have made various changes this season, making Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell as their captain. Moreover, they also got Virender Sehwag as their coach.

Talking about these changes, Saha said, “Maxwell and Virubhai have told us to play freely and without thinking much. If your role is to score 20 off 10, then just go and express yourself. That’s a big plus point and something that was on full display in the last two matches. We have won in 15-16 overs. A big plus for the side.”

Speaking further about the strategy for the upcoming games, Saha said, It depends on the pattern. Akshar Patel went early with left-arm spinners bowling in tandem. Left-arm spinners find it difficult against left-handers.” The last time Saha appeared in India whites at his home ground, he walked away with the Man-of-the-match award for his twin half-centuries against a very potent New Zealand attack in seaming conditions.

“I have played here since my younger days, be it at state-level, Ranji Trophy or IPL. I am aware of the conditions but so are others who have played a lot of matches. The only familiarity won’t help as a lot of things keep changing. I am playing for Kings XI Punjab and our ultimate goal is to win the match,” he added.