MS Dhoni's Test retirement won't make me change my approach: Wriddhiman Saha
Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha has said that just because MS Dhoni has retired from the longer format of the game doesn't mean that he will stop working hard on his game. The 30-year-old Bengal cricketer played the first and the fourth Test of the recently concluded four-match Test series against Australia and is widely considered to be the country’s best wicketkeeper-batsman today.
"I have never ever thought like that. You don't play cricket thinking that there will be comparatively lesser competition that what it was before. The opportunity is there for everybody and whoever performs will play. For me, I used to work hard even when Dhoni was playing Test cricket and it won't even change now," Saha told PTI on the sidelines of a training session at Ghaziabad.
Wanted to go out there and play my shots in the second innings: Saha
Speaking about the chase at Adelaide in the second innings, Saha said that his aim was to play positively and play his shots since two batsmen before him had got out trying to defend the ball.
"The game plan was to play positively. Since two players before me in Adelaide (Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane) got out trying to defend, I tried to be positive and counterattack. That could have been a second six had it connected. It was the execution that was wrong, but I don't think that the planning was wrong,” he said.
Saha was a member of the touring party that came to Australia in 2011/12 when India were blanked 4-0 in the Test matches, and he believes that he should’ve put in better performances this time around, considering that he already had a fair idea of the conditions that were on offer.
"I believe having toured Australia with the senior team and playing a Test match did help me in my homework. Ideally, I should have gone and capitalized on the start that I got in both Test matches, but it didn't happen. Hopefully, I will be converting the starts next time around," he said.
Ravi Shastri and Duncan Fletcher gave me a lot of support: Saha
The Kings XI Punjab gloveman also said that he received a lot of support from team director Ravi Shastri and head coach Duncan Fletcher who encouraged him to be positive on the field. Saha also revealed what Dhoni told the team after announcing he was quitting the longer format of the game.
"Both Ravi Shastri and Duncan Fletcher were very supportive once MS announced his decision to retire from Tests. They had a lot of encouraging words for me before the Sydney Test as well as the first Test in Adelaide where the skipper was out due to injury. Their mantra was simple - be positive and enjoy each and every minute.
"MS addressed us in the dressing room after his retirement and told us that 'this is the core of the Test team that will remain for the next 7-8 years'. We should all try and perform to the best of our abilities and grab the chances that come our way,” he said.
Saha also admitted it wasn't the easiest of tasks to score runs on the bouncy tracks of Australia.
"Actually, it was difficult, I must admit. Because in Australia, the deliveries bowled at 140-145 kmph on average was hitting the bat much earlier. The moment I came back, the speed was 20 kmph less and I was trying to reach towards the ball and still couldn't hit it," he said.