Wriddhiman Saha close to fitness before IPL
What's the story?
India's first-choice Test wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha is almost back to full fitness following his withdrawal from the South Africa tour where he had to miss the last two Tests owing to a hamstring injury.
“My recovery is in the last leg and I will be fit in a few more days. I am currently at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and the medical team is assessing my progress on a daily basis,” he told Sportstar yesterday.
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Saha was a part of the Indian team during the ongoing visit to South Africa for the three Tests, but pulled out after playing in the first one citing trouble with his hamstring. However, in that match, he created the record of having snaffled 10 catches in a single Test, going past MS Dhoni, who had nine against his name.
His place in the side for the other two games was taken by Parthiv Patel, who was guilty of dropping a few chances, which went a long way in India falling behind at many a stage during the games.
The heart of the matter
The 33-year-old sounded positive of representing his new side, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, in the IPL, which starts on April 7, having been snapped up by them for a handsome INR 5 crore.
“I can’t declare a time-frame like a week or 10 days. It depends on the physios and the several parameters of recovery. But the IPL is far away, I will be fit way before time,” Saha said.
He was disappointed at having missed out on the opportunity of serving his country, but at the same time, seemed excited at the prospect of playing for a new IPL side.
“Injuries are a part of the game and you can’t do much about it. I felt bad that I had to be back but the team did well,” Saha explained before adding, “ The Sunrisers is a good unit and they have been consistent in the IPL.”
The IPL gets over on May 27, while India next play a Test match only in June when they will be hosting newly-promoted Afghanistan for a solitary game in Bengaluru from June 14. Come July, a rigorous England tour of 5 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 3 T20Is will follow.
Saha's importance to the side can hardly be questioned, especially having featured in as many as 108 first-class games for Bengal and being a regular in the side since 2015 after Dhoni had suddenly retired from the format.
The runs he has scored batting in the lower order in the past have pushed India to a strong total on a number of occasions, and his wicket-keeping can be fairly tagged as better than Parthiv's.