Indian Test specialist Wriddhiman Saha revealed former Indian captain MS Dhoni's huge influence on his improvement as a batsman and wicket-keeper.
Speaking candidly on various aspects of cricket during a Live Instagram session, Saha spoke highly of India's top wicketkeeper MS Dhoni. He explained how Dhoni had set lofty standards in international cricket, both as an exceptional keeper and a hard-hitting batsman.
"Mahi bhai has set high standards. Not only in the national circuit but for wicket-keepers around the world. They look up to him as a role model... I want to emulate Mahi bhai's style of stumpings in split seconds."
Saha admitted that he tried to grasp every opportunity that came his way to pick Dhoni's brain and improve his technical skills. He even stated that if given an option, he would gladly sit out to make way for MS Dhoni in any playing XI.
"We have a age different of 4-5 years. When we both were in the team, I knew I wasn't going to play. I took that opportunity to learn from Mahi bhai."
"If it was left to me, I will put MS Dhoni's name in the playing XI and will sit out myself."
Saha about competition with Rishabh Pant after Dhoni's retirement from Test cricket
After MS Dhoni's sudden retirement from Test cricket in December 2014, Wriddhiman Saha was tipped to take over from the former captain as the specialist keeper. However, form and fitness issues proved to be a stumbling block for the Bengal wicketkeeper, keeping him out of the Indian team for almost a couple of years. He made a comeback to the international circuit in the last home season.
Upcoming keeping talents like Rishabh Pant were given opportunities during Saha's time away from the team and even pipped the latter when both were available for selection.
In the last few series, the Indian team management has tended to go with the better wicket-keeper Saha in home conditions. But Pant has been the preferred option in overseas conditions for his superior batting abilities.
Saha, however, wasn't too perturbed by the situation. He revelled in the healthy competition and got along well with Pant. He revealed instances when both keepers exchanged crucial insights about the tough conditions in England for wicket-keepers. Saha also talked about texting and congratulating the flamboyant Pant for his 100 in England.
"When Rishabh was doing well, I knew he will continue to play for India. So I patiently waited for my opportunities... I texted Rishabh when he scored a 100 in England. We talked during our time in NCA later and discussed conditions in England and the swing-factor for wicket-keepers."
Saha has 103 dismissals to his name in the 37 test matches he has played for India. He has done fairly well with the bat as well, scoring 1238 runs at a decent average of 30.19.