wriddhiman saha
Wriddhiman Saha (IANS Photo)

Wriddhiman Saha is spending his time at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru recovering after undergoing a shoulder surgery in Manchester. He has been hit by a spate of injuries in 2018 including hamstring (South Africa), thumb (IPL) and then later on, it was revealed Saha had hurt his shoulder on South Africa tour.

While he has been out of action, India gave chances to Dinesh Karthik and gave debut to Rishabh Pant. While Karthik was dropped after the first two Tests of the England series, Pant was given a chance and he struck a maiden century in the fifth and final match at The Oval.

With 20-year-old Pant also impressing in the first Test against West Indies with an attacking knock at Rajkot, he has all but ensured a ticket for the upcoming tour of Australia.

Saha, 33, isn’t worried about losing his Test spot to Pant or for that matter anyone else. His aim is to attain full fitness as soon as possible and keep performing. Rest, he’s leaving to the selectors.

“There is still a lot of time (Australia series),” Saha was quoted as saying by Sportstar Live. “The West Indies series has just started. See, I haven’t been told a ‘no’ yet. This is how I would like to think about it. The idea is to get fitter as soon as I can.”

When questioned about Pant, the Bengal’s wicketkeeper-batsman replied, “I haven’t been able to watch all the games to be honest. But I have watched Rishabh. He played Test cricket the way he plays T20. This is his style and he has been successful this way. I never think who is playing in my place. I will do my job, and selection isn’t in my hands. If I do well, I will get a chance. Rishabh, Dinesh (Karthik) or Parthiv (Patel), whoever plays, they all will try to do their best, like I do.”

In September, Saha has predicted he will attain fitness in four months but he now says it’s difficult to put a deadline. “It is difficult to set or expect a timeline after any major surgery. You will never know how long it may take. There is a day-to-day monitoring,” he said.

Saha, who has played 32 Tests, scored 1164 runs and has 85 dismissals to his credit, is doing range and strength training at the NCA.

“I obviously feel a lot better. I am spending 99 per cent of my time at the NCA. At times, after a month-long session, I get a four-day break to visit family. I am doing range and strength training at the moment.

“It tests your hands with respect to your shoulder. Range in the sense, movement. How long your arms can reach out etc. There are many exercises. Once I pass the range and strength tests, the cricketing activities will begin,” he explained.