Kolkata: It would be an exaggeration to say that he doesn’t make us miss MS Dhoni, yet, one dares to heap praises on Wriddhiman Saha for the character he has shown in Test cricket so far. The Siliguri lad once again proved his mettle with the bat scoring a hundred against Australia in the ongoing Ranchi Test. Saha scored his third Test hundred in Ranchi, which also happens to be the home ground of Dhoni. The wicket-keeper batsman walked into the middle when India was lagging behind the Australian first innings total. But, he never buckled under pressure and stitched a much-needed partnership with double centurion, Cheteshwar Pujara.
As a journalist, you are expected to be objective. Yet at times, the emotional person in you takes centre stage. As Bengalis, we have enough reasons to hail Saha who no doubt is a role model for wannabe Bengal cricketers after Sourav Ganguly. Saha does his job silently, but the end result is productive for his team. As a stumper, Saha is rated highly, but as a batsman too, he is coming of age scoring runs when his team needs. His knock in Ranchi is of high quality and never did he show signs of desperation during his stint in the middle.
Credit goes to Team India skipper, Virat Kohli for reposing his faith in the determined cricketer from Bengal. Even in the wake of a memorable comeback by Parthiv Patel, Kohli was firm on his stance that behind the stumps, he relied more on Saha. And kudos to Saha for justifying his position in the team, not only with the wicket-keeping gloves, but also with the willow.
Time and again, Saha has chipped in with the bat too when his country has been in dire straits. His maiden Test hundred against the West Indies at Gros Islet last year, came when the chips were down and Saha didn’t disappoint and along with Ravichandran Ashwin, he came to India’s rescue. And in between, the Bengal lad has played many an important knock for his team in Test cricket.
Kohli, no doubt is a satisfied leader. His belief in Saha’s abilities has been vindicated and yes, even if we do miss Dhoni, Saha comes as a breath of fresh air as a wicket-keeper who is no novice with the bat.
And fans would also be eager to see him donning the India colours in the truncated versions of the game as well after Dhoni calls it a day. We don’t know what Dhoni’s plan is, but in his absence, Saha could turn out to be his perfect successor. In the fifty-over and T20 formats, Saha has it in him to excel both as a keeper and a batsman.
To wind up, as Bengalis, we are proud of Saha and as Indians, we look forward to many more superlative performances from him.