The Rise Of The Batsman In Wriddhiman Saha

Wriddhiman Saha, unlike cricket legends such as Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, or Rahul Dravid, wasn't expected to be the saviour of India in tough situations, yet he repeatedly ensured that India reached competitive totals when the team appeared to be struggling in both innings of the Kolkata Test.

With a serene temperament and a solid technique, Wriddhiman Saha skillfully countered every challenge the ball presented on the tricky Eden Gardens pitch.

Wriddhiman Saha’s batting may not possess the commanding presence of MS Dhoni, but he is undeniably one of the world's finest wicket-keepers, perhaps even surpassing his predecessor. What sets him apart in the age of flashy T20 cricket is his unassuming and traditional batting approach. Saha's conventional style, both as a batsman and wicket-keeper, has become India's X-factor in recent times.

There’s more to his expertise than just the Wriddhiman Saha batting; Saha's glove-work was flawless. Regardless of how the ball behaved—bouncing high, low, turning, or staying true—Saha's work behind the stumps was impeccable. While he had faced criticism for not contributing significant runs in crucial Test matches, his twin fifties and "Man of the Match" award in a Test helped silence those critics, at least temporarily.

The role of wicket-keepers has evolved over the years, with greater emphasis placed on their contributions with the bat. Wriddhiman Saha is not just a capable batsman, as his first-class average of 44 and centuries in Ranji and IPL finals demonstrate, but he needed to prove himself on the international stage.

It was never easy for someone who had always been the backup option, only called up when a first-team player was injured. Test cricket demands excellence in challenging conditions, and Saha's opportunities were limited. Unfortunately, Wriddhiman Saha continued to be India's reserve wicketkeeper for years.

Finally, when the door to the Indian team opened with MS Dhoni's retirement, Wriddhiman Saha was already 30, and much of his prime had been spent as Dhoni's understudy. Had he played more regular international cricket, he might have accumulated five or six Test centuries by now.

Nonetheless, he still had several years of cricket ahead of him. Things looked promising, but Wriddhiman Saha faced challenges. Before the West Indies series in 2016, his record included a couple of fifties and some 20s and 30s in 12 Test matches—numbers that were not in his favour.

The selectors maintained their faith in him, seeking a dependable wicket-keeper against world-class spinners. Saha's transformation became evident during the Caribbean tour, where he scored a century, though it was against a lower-ranked West Indies side. His evolution continued in the series against New Zealand, where his twin fifties left his critics in hibernation.

In Wriddhiman Saha's journey, the evolution from an unassuming presence to a vital contributor, both with the gloves and the bat, reflects the essence of cricket's enduring spirit.

What sets Wriddhiman Saha apart in the world of cricket?
Saha's unassuming and orthodox batting approach, combined with his excellent wicket-keeping skills, makes him stand out in the modern era of flashy T20 cricket.
When did Wriddhiman Saha make his Test debut for India?
Wriddhiman Saha’s debut in Test cricket for India was on February 6, 2010, against South Africa.
What is Wriddhiman Saha’s highest success as a cricketer?
Wriddhiman Saha's twin fifties and "Man of the Match" award in a Test match helped him gain recognition and silenced some of his critics.
How did Wriddhiman Saha rework his cricketing career?
Saha's transformation as a cricketer became evident in his modified technique and mentality, mainly due to sizable contributions, together with centuries, during his international profession.
What challenges did Wriddhiman Saha face in the course of his cricket adventure?
Saha faced the task of being a backup choice for the crew for years, getting possibilities when the primary-preference player was unavailable.