Wriddhiman Saha | Page 3 of 29 | Sportzwiki

Wriddhiman Saha - Page 3

Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
/

Ajay Ratra Hopeful Of Seeing Much Improved Rishabh Pant

Ajay Ratra, former India wicketkeeper shared his thoughts on his wicketkeeping in Australia and then in India while speaking on Rishabh Pant’s recent performances beginning with the tour Down Under. Rishabh Pant has emerged as one of the most improved players of the Indian team in the recent past.

Rishabh Pant, who was often criticized for poor glovework and uninspiring results with the bat, has shown meteoric rise to cement his place in the national team across formats. His turnaround began in the 2020/21 Australia tour, where not only did he replace Wriddhiman Saha as the team’s first-choice wicketkeeper, but also won his team much-needed matches.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter

Ajay Ratra: Rishabh Pant Is Working On The Glove Work

Ajay Ratra, who works with the youngster Rishabh Pant in the Delhi Capitals (DC) camp, said he is improving and can get better more with age on his side. India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has improved with bat and with gloves recently as shown in Australia tour and England’s home Tests.

“I have been following Rishabh’s progress and feel he has improved on his footwork. He is working on the glove work. I feel he can improve more on glove work. Age is on his side,” maintained Ajay Ratra while speaking to SportsKeeda.

Ajay Ratra Image Source : TWITTER
Ajay Ratra Image Source: TWITTER

Rishabh Pant scored 274 runs at an average of 68.50 in five innings for India against Australia. The keeper continued his form against England where he hit 270 runs at an average of 54.00. He had led India to victory at Brisbane and then his scintillating hundred against England at Motera impressed everyone. Rishabh Pant captained for the first time in IPL 2021. He scored 91,11, unbeaten 58, 8, and 101 in the 5 innings against England.

Ajay Ratra: When MS DShoni Made His Debut, He Was Not That Great

Ajay Ratra, 39, compared his progress to former India captain MS Dhoni’s, saying the swashbuckling left-hander will gain experience as he plays further.

“When Dhoni made his debut, he was not that great. He learned at the international level and gained confidence from his batting. The same thing applies to Rishabh also. He has been batting so well and kept well in Indian conditions. If he continues that, we can see a much-improved Rishabh Pant,” concluded Ajay Ratra.

Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni
Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rishabh Pant was last seen in action during IPL 2021. While leading Delhi Capitals, the 23-year-old scored 213 runs in 8 matches. He will next turn up for the Indian team during the England Tour, where India will play the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) against New Zealand followed by a five-match Test series against the host nation.

Delhi Capitals had an impressive run under the young wicketkeeper-batsman and, in fact, was the table-toppers with six wins from eight matches when the T20 league was postponed. India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has climbed to his career-best 6th ranking in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen.

MS Dhoni, who retired recently, scored exactly 200 runs in IPL 2020 averaging only 25 and wasn’t at his best in IPL 2021 too managing only 37 runs in 7 games averaging a meagre 12.33 when IPL 2021 was postponed due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 in bio bubble. IPL 2021 is set to resume in UAE in September-October.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
/

Dinesh Karthik Is Grateful To Represent India In Tests Among 302 Players In A Country Of 1.3 Billion

Dinesh Karthik is one of India’s most talented wicket-keeper batsmen and has represented the country in 26 Tests between 2004 and 2018.

In an exclusive with Cricketnext (News 18), Dinesh Karthik stated he was grateful for the chance to represent India in the premier format of the game and he was delighted to be one of the very few to have got that honour. He also spoke about the opportunities he got and his journey in international cricket.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Dinesh Karthik Happy With How His Career Has Taken Shape As Only 302 Players Have Played Tests For India

Dinesh Karthik made his Test debut against Australia in Mumbai in 2004 and played his last in whites for India at Lord’s in 2018. He scored 1025 runs in 26 Tests for the country at an average of 25 with one hundred and seven fifties. Dinesh Karthik stated that he was lucky and happy to be one of only 302 Test cricketers in a country of 1.3 billion people.

Dinesh Karthik made his Test comeback against Afghanistan after almost eight years (@EssexCricket Photo)
Dinesh Karthik made his Test comeback against Afghanistan after almost eight years (@EssexCricket Photo)

Overall, he has represented India in 152 international matches which include 126 limited-overs matches.

“I am very happy with how my career has taken shape. I have always been someone who has been very satisfied and have been very grateful to have played this sport, because in India, for the billion-plus population that has been over a period of time, only 302 have played (Tests) for the country, and to be a part of that is something really special. “

“I am really, really happy. There are so many things to be happy about playing this sport. At the start of my career, all I wanted to do was play one game for my country. To have played 150-plus overall, I am very happy. It has been a terrific journey for me, wearing the India blues,” quoted Karthik.

Dinesh Karthik was dropped from the Test squad with the emergence of MS Dhoni and Wriddhiman Saha after playing a Test against Bangladesh in January 2010 but returned after a gap of 8 years with Wriddhiman Saha injured and played a Test against Afghanistan and 2 Tests against England where he failed.

Dinesh Karthik’s Aim Is To Play For India In Back To Back T20 World Cups 2021-22

Dinesh Karthik’s career coincided with MS Dhoni’s and the latter’s rise and his own inconsistent form meant that he did not get a consistent run in the Indian team across formats. But he was not too fussed about the issue and was grateful for whatever chances he got to play for the country.

“As I said, in a journey that has spanned over 15-16 years, just to be a part of the Indian team over a period of time and playing all the three formats, there are so many reasons for me to be happy about myself and the efforts I have put in. “

“I have always told myself that only I know the amount of effort I put in and whatever I did over a period of time to get those opportunities. I did everything I could, sometimes these things work, some other times they don’t. What is important is when you lie down on your bed, you should get good sleep knowing that you have given it everything and I can proudly say I have definitely done that.”

File image of MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik.(AFP)
File image of MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik. (AFP)

Dinesh Karthik added that his aim now was to focus on the T20 format and play in the two successive World T20s – in India in 2021 and Australia in 2022. He stated that he was fit and raring to go.

“I will continue playing as long as I am fit. I can see myself playing for another three-four years. Touchwood, if my fitness is as it is and if I continue to contribute with the bat, I see no reason as to why I shouldn’t be playing. These days, there are so many fitness tests and the rate at which they have the fitness tests, they remove the age out of the equation.”

“What they want to see is not the age but how fit you are. My aim is to play for the country in the T20 World Cups. There are back-to-back T20 World Cups, this year and the next year, and I am doing everything I can to be a part of that,” said Karthik.​

There have been periods in his international career when he has done exceedingly well but in some time, his form dropped and he was left out. Something similar happened to him after the 2019 World Cup. He played for India in the semi-final, where he batted at no. 5, with minimal returns. This resulted in him getting dropped, which seemed like a decision taken by the selectors considering Dinesh Karthik’s age.

Dilip Vengsarkar file image | Sandeep Shetty / IPL/ SPORTZPICS
Dilip Vengsarkar file image | Sandeep Shetty / IPL/ SPORTZPICS
/

Dilip Vengsarkar Agrees That It’s Handy To Have A Keeper Who Can Score Runs

Dilip Vengsarkar stated that while it is handy to have a wicketkeeper who can score, one should not have a fixed idea about certain things. The role of a wicketkeeper in the game of cricket has evolved drastically in the last two decades.

Prior to the Adam Gilchrist and MS Dhoni eras, which redefined wicketkeepers as all-rounders, the world had seen specialist keepers in the names of Ian Healy, Syed Kirmani, Moin Khan, and Jeff Dujon, among others. They found a place in the team mainly because of their glovework.

Dilip Vengsarkar File Photo
Dilip Vengsarkar File Photo

Dilip Vengsarkar: One Can’t Have A Fixed Mind And Say Keeping Comes First

However, for a modern-day wicketkeeper, his batting skills matter as much as his prowess behind the stumps. If a team has to choose between a pure wicketkeeper and a wicketkeeper-batsman, they prefer the latter as that player adds depth to the side and brings in more balance. A fitting example in today’s world being Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter

Former India captain, Dilip Vengsarkar is of the same opinion. While speaking to Cricket Next, the Indian batting stalwart Dilip Vengsarkar stated that while it is handy to have a wicketkeeper who can score, one should not have a fixed idea about certain things.

“It depends according to the situation. You cannot have a fixed idea about certain things. The wicketkeeper is a very important position in the team. Besides effecting stumpings and run-outs, if he is batting well, why not? If you have someone like Rishabh Pant, who can change the complexion of the match with his batting also, that is a huge advantage for the Indian team.

“You cannot have a fixed mind and say wicket-keeping comes first. If you are improving as a wicket-keeper, why not? Same thing happened with Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He kept improving,” said Dilip Vengsarkar.

India’s swashbuckling player Rishabh Pant has grown at a meteoric rate to cement his place permanently in the team. He was heavily criticized for his glovework until a few months ago but ever since India’s tour of Australia Down Under, he improved massively in both departments. He has replaced Wriddhiman Saha who lost his place due to uninspiring returns with the bat.

Dilip Vengsarkar, who scored 10,000 runs for India, opines that a team cannot have a staunch theory on the wicket-keeper these days and needs to be flexible according to conditions and situations.

Rishabh Pant Along With Indian Team Members Will Depart For England On June 2

Rishabh Pant, along with the Virat Kohli-led Indian team, will depart for the UK on June 2. They will first play the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand between June 18 and 22 in Southampton. After that, they will lock horns with the host country England in a five-match Test series starting August.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant | Twitter

Rishabh Pant scored 274 runs at an average of 68.50 in five innings for India against Australia. The keeper continued his form against England where he hit 270 runs at an average of 54.00. He had led India to victory at Brisbane and then his scintillating hundred against England at Motera impressed everyone. He scored 91,11, unbeaten 58, 8, and 101 in the 5 innings against England.

Rishabh Pant captained for the first time in IPL 2021. Delhi Capitals had an impressive run under the young wicketkeeper-batsman and was the table-toppers with six wins from eight matches before IPL 2021 was postponed. In fact, the 36-year-old Wriddhiman Saha was magnanimous enough to concede that his almost certain successor Rishabh Pant merits the place in the Test team.

India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has climbed to his career-best 6th ranking in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen. The southpaw had broken into the ten for the first time after hitting his maiden hundred on home soil in the last Test match against England in March.

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
/

Gautam Gambhir Praised By Manvinder Bisla And KC Cariappa For Good Captaincy For KKR

Gautam Gambhir was one of the most successful captains in Indian Premier League history.  Gautam Gambhir led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles in his career while playing an important part in their batting department.

Several KKR players have talked about the leadership skills of Gautam Gambhir, who is the only KKR skipper to win IPL, and that too, twice, and how he led from the front to guide youngsters in the team.

Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL titles
Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL title

Gautam Gambhir Was Fiercely Protective Of His Players: Manvinder Bisla

One of the players, Manvinder Bisla was an integral part of KKR’s batting department during Gautam Gambhir’s reign as captain. He even top-scored in the final of IPL 2012. Manvinder Bisla hit 89 runs off just 48 balls to help KKR chase down Chennai Super Kings’ total of 190 runs in the final.

Manvinder Bisla played 39 matches in the IPL and hit 798 runs at an average of 21. He narrated how Gautam Gambhir was as a captain and said that the former India opener was fiercely protective of his players.

Manvinder Bisla during his match-winning knock of 89 runs in IPL 2012 final against CSK.
Manvinder Bisla during his match-winning knock of 89 runs in the IPL 2012 final against CSK. (Photo: Twitter/@KKRiders)

“As a captain, Gautam was fiercely protective of his players. He was like an older brother. Win or lose, he needed to just see focus and intensity. Even when I wasn’t converting starts, he was never short of encouraging words if he saw the effort.

“So chats with him at different times during the competition gave me the reinforcement that I was very much valued. Vijay Dahiya, our assistant coach, was also a great motivator. These two made it easy for me to deal with both success and failure,” Bisla said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

Gautam Gambhir is a captain who is known to take bold decisions and the fact that Manvinder Bisla was chosen ahead of Brendon McCullum in the IPL 2012 final, is a living testament. Manvinder Bisla was made to open the innings along with skipper Gautam Gambhir.

However, KKR was dealt with a big blow as their marquee batsman Gautam Gambhir departed in the first over itself after a peach of a delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus. Gautam Gambhir was KKR’s leading run-scorer in that tournament and had amassed 590 runs.

Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis steadied KKR’s ship and steered them close to the target. The duo was on song and stitched a magnificent partnership of 136 runs before Manvinder Bisla got dismissed for 89. His power-packed innings was the cornerstone of KKR’s victory as he emerged as the ultimate game-changer. His inning was packed with 8 fours and 5 sixes. Jacques Kallis too scored 69 before departing.

Two Bengali boys in the form of Shakib-Al-Hasan and Manoj Tiwary orchestrated the victory from thereon as KKR successfully chased the target of 191 put up by CSK. In IPL 2014 final, Manish Pandey scored 94 as KKR chased down KXIP’s mammoth total of 199 made possible after KXIP’s Wriddhiman Saha had scored a ton.

Gautam Gambhir Was Strict In Bowling Discipline And Didn’t Compromise Poor Effort On The Field: KC Cariappa

Another find of Gambhir was spinner KC Cariappa who spent two seasons for the franchise – in 2015 and in 2019. In a recent interview, KC Cariappa recalled his experiences of playing under the two-time IPL winning captain Gautam Gambhir in the IPL 2015 season, and described him as a “very good captain”.

“Gambhir was a very good captain. He was a little strict in terms of bowling discipline, and effort on the field was something he wouldn’t compromise,” Cariappa told Sportskeeda.

KC Cariappa. (Photo Source: Twitter)
KC Cariappa. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“Outside the field, he didn’t bother you. On the field, you had to give your 100% and that’s what I loved,” he added.

KC Cariappa has played 11 matches, the last of which came in 2019 and picked 8 scalps. He made his debut with the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2015, and later was a part of the Kings XI Punjab setup where he did not have the best of IPLs picking up just 8 wickets in 10 matches across three seasons(2015-17).

He was roped in as one of the replacements for injured KKR pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti & Shivam Mavi in 2019 and played a solitary game where he went wicketless.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)
/

Tarak Sinha Opens Up On Rishabh Pant’s Rise In International Cricket

Tarak Sinha spoke on Rishabh Pant’s rise, comparisons with MS Dhoni, and his India captaincy credentials in an exclusive chat with Cricketnext.com,

No domestic cricket coach in India has shaped over a dozen international cricketers than Tarak Sinha. One of the most underrated coaches in Indian cricket, Tarak Sinha’s latest contribution is playing a crucial role in the emergence of Rishabh Pant. Cricketnext.com spoke with the iconic Delhi club Sonnet’s head coach on Rishabh Pant’s journey so far in international cricket.

Tarak Sinha, Rishabh Pant Photo Courtesy : sportz247
Tarak Sinha, Rishabh Pant Photo Courtesy: sportz247

Tarak Sinha: Rishabh Pant Has Been Mentally Very Strong And His Willpower Is An Asset

Rishabh Pant scored 274 runs at an average of 68.50 in five innings for India against Australia. The keeper continued his form against England where he hit 270 runs at an average of 54.00. He had led India to victory at Brisbane and then his scintillating hundred against England at Motera impressed everyone. Rishabh Pant captained for the first time in IPL 2021. He scored 91,11, unbeaten 58, 8, and 101 in the 5 innings against England.

“Pant has always been mentally very strong. He came from Roorkee to Delhi and always wanted to be the best player he could. That determination on his face was always there to see. Cricket is all about your willpower.

“Even if you are lacking in skills or having some technical deficiency, if you have strong willpower you can overcome most challenges. I always felt that if Pant was given a good run, he would prove himself no matter what the format is,” Tarak Sinha opens up on Pant’s rise.

Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni
Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

“As a coach, my job was always to hold a mirror to him. To tell him where he was lacking, what he needed to do, to help him figure out himself through my inputs. Yes, there was a fitness issue that was blown out of proportions. He couldn’t go out for training and there was just limited equipment.

“The homemade food by his mother may have played its part in him being slightly overweight. He lost his place in the team but came back strongly because of his willpower,” Tarak Sinha on motivating Pant before Australia tour 2020-21.

“A lesser player would have wilted under pressure with such comparison (with Dhoni) but as I keep saying that Pant’s willpower is his extraordinary asset and he kept the focus on improving his game. Pant was told that he is a one-dimensional stroke player and soon he added more strokes in his armory,” Tarak Sinha on Dhoni comparision overwhelming Pant.

“Undoubtedly, Pant is a game-changer and a great learner but why such obsession with Dhoni comparison all the time? You must acknowledge the fact that it also took a while for Dhoni to show the world what he was capable of. We need to be patient with Pant. His time will also come. It has just started,” Tarak Sinha on comparison with Dhoni.

Delhi Capitals had an impressive run under the young wicketkeeper-batsman and, in fact, were the table-toppers with six wins from eight matches when the T20 league was postponed. Rishabh Pant has already showcased his immense talent over the last couple of months in the longest format, which has also helped him stage a comeback in the white-ball T20I format. Rishabh Pant still has a long way to go before reaching the lofty heights of MS Dhoni.

Tarak Sinha Insists Rishabh Pant Still Consults Him As In The Past

Virat Kohli’s men will now travel to the UK for the WTC final against New Zealand and a five-Test series against England. Rishabh Pant, quite naturally, is touted to keep wickets unless some extraordinary circumstances arise. Another keeper Wriddhiman Saha has accepted it. In fact, the 36-year-old was magnanimous enough to concede that his almost certain successor Rishabh Pant merits the place.

“He needs to be humble. And, he is, as of now, that I can assure you. He has achieved so much in the last couple of months and yet he approached me for feedback on his game via video call recently. I told him a couple of things that he needed to work on. I didn’t want to tell him negative things during the IPL but he told me I always have that right and freedom to do so,” Sinha praised Pant.

“He still consults me as in the past. If you ask him today, he would tell you that whatever changes he needs to make in his batting, he does only after consulting me. It’s a big thing because he is now an established player,” on beng fortunate as Pant consults him.

“Once I got upset with him during one of the net sessions at my club Sonnet which is in South Delhi. He couldn’t sleep for the whole night and knocked on my door around 3:30 am! He said that he wanted to apologize because he could never see me being upset. That was touching as well as disturbing since he had to make that journey post-midnight,” Sinha on being harsh on him often.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant
File Photo: PTI

“It’s difficult to pinpoint just one moment. I particularly got impressed during a local league tournament in Delhi. It was an LB Shastri final match for our club and that was an important game since several high-profile players from North India used to participate in that tournament. Pant was just a rookie and played an astonishing knock,” Tarak Sinha on noticing spark first time

“Pant has to establish himself first more as a player. Pant needs to grow as a player and then in the future selectors can think about those things. He has done reasonably well for Delhi Capitals in IPL this year and has led the Delhi Ranji team to the final as well in the past,” Tarak Sinha on Pant as future India skipper.

India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has climbed to his career-best 6th ranking in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen. The southpaw had broken into the ten for the first time after hitting his maiden hundred on home soil in the last Test match against England in March.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
/

Dinesh Karthik And Sunil Gavaskar Only Indians In Commentary Panel For WTC Final: Reports

Dinesh Karthik, India, and KKR wicket-keeper and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar are reportedly the only Indians ready to join the on-ground panel for the summit clash as the International Cricket Council (ICC) is scrambling for commentators for the much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) Final.

The Indian duo will be accompanied by New Zealand’s Simon Doull and two neutral commentators in England’s Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Dinesh Karthik Was In India’s Test Team The Last Time India Toured England

A report in Cricbuzz claims that many commentators from India and New Zealand have refused to commentate on the WTC final. The stringent protocols, which mandate a 10-day quarantine for all overseas professionals for a 5-day stint, have apparently dissuaded them from the opportunity.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter

Other names, including Ian Smith, who famously held forth in the 2019 World Cup Final, are also in talks, albeit without any confirmation. Although Dinesh Karthik was in India’s Test side the last time they toured the UK, he has lost his place to Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha.

The KKR and Indian keeper has played 26 Tests, 94 ODIs, and 32 T20Is and his last appearance came in World Cup 2019’s Semi-Final against New Zealand. The Indian selectors have snubbed India’s experienced wicket-keeper batsman after he scored just 14 runs in 2 innings at the ICC ODI World Cup tournament in July.

Dinesh Karthik Set To Be The Only Indian Commentator In The Hundred

In another example of his rise in the commentary arena, Dinesh Karthik is also set to be the only Indian voice in The Hundred. The former KKR captain was chosen by broadcaster Sky Sports for the inaugural 100-ball competition and will join Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad, and David Lloyd, among others on the panel.

The WTC Final will begin on June 18 followed by The Hundred (July 22 – August 21) and a 5-Test series between India and England (August 4 – September 14).

Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)

Dinesh Karthik’s availability as a commentator for the WTC final might also mean that he will not play a part in the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. The tour, which will run parallel to Virat Kohli‘s boys’ trip to England, will see the participation of most of India’s fringe players and white-ball specialists.

Dinesh Karthik was last seen in action in the IPL 2021, where he scored 123 runs across 7 innings at an average of 30.75. He has featured in 203 IPL games and amassed 3946 runs averaging 26.13 with 19 fifties.

Dinesh Karthik is one of the most experienced wicketkeeper-batsman in the scheme of things. He led KKR to playoffs in 2018 and his side finished fifth in the points table in 2019. Post the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in 2018, the keeper has upped the ante in terms of his finishing skills in the shortest version.

Wriddhiman Saha. (AFP)
Wriddhiman Saha. (AFP)
/

Wriddhiman Saha Claims He May Have Contracted Covid-19 After His Interaction With CSK Players

Wriddhiman Saha claims that he might have got the virus after mingling with the “CSK guys” post their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 game in Delhi last month.

Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha pointed out on Saturday that he might have contracted the coronavirus after his interactions with the Chennai Super Kings players and support staff post their game at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)

Wriddhiman Saha Claims He May Have Contracted The Virus While Interacting With A Few CSK Players

SRH and CSK played Match 23 in the capital city on April 28 which the latter won by 7 wickets. Just 5 days after the game, CSK bowling Laxmipathy Balaji tested positive for Covid-19. A day later, Wriddhiman Saha also returned a positive Covid-19 result to become the fourth player at that time to contract the virus. The rising cases forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India to suspend the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 with immediate effect.

Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo - TOI)
Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo – TOI)

Barely 24 hours after the postponement of the league, CSK batting coach Michael Hussey also tested positive for Covid on May 5, taking the tournament’s Covid tally to 6. Wriddhiman Saha has now recovered from the virus and even returned home to Kolkata from Delhi to be with his family on May 18.

“We used the airport, landed in Delhi, and even played the CSK game there. So if I had contracted the virus at the airport, the symptoms could’ve shown up before or during the CSK game itself.

He now claims that he might have got the virus after mingling with the “CSK guys” post their game last month. KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, Delhi’s Amit Mishra, and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha contracted the virus apart from the CSK coaching duo before IPL 2021’s premature postponement. Prasidh Krishna and Tim Seifert of KKR also contracted the virus after IPL 2021 was suspended.

Wriddhiman Saha Felt More Secure At UAE Bio Bubble Which Allowed Fewer People

The 36-year-old Bengal cricketer went on to add that playing IPL 2020 in the United Arab Emirates felt more secure as the people allowed inside the bio-bubble last year were much less compared to this season which is probably why there was a breach.

“When we played in the UAE last year, there used to be no one around us even during practice sessions. But here, we are sharing the space with groundsmen, people outside the ground are also peeping through the gates or over the wall. Nobody breached the bubble, so there must have been some small opening somewhere either through the driver, the Chennai team or somebody at the ground,” Saha said.

SunRisers Hyderabad
SunRisers Hyderabad. Image Credits: Twitter

SRH was placed last on the points table with just 1 win from 7 games before the IPL 2021 got postponed. Just 29 out of the scheduled 60 matches were played in the tournament till May 2. SRH management made the headlines when they relieved talisman David Warner of captaincy duties, all of a sudden, after the sixth match.

Phase 2 of the Indian Premier League – which will cover the remaining 31 matches of the 2021 edition, including the four knockout games – is set to be played in the United Arab Emirates between September and October. BCCI is likely to make the announcement on May 29 when the members assemble for a special general meeting.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
/

Wriddhiman Saha Is A True Professional For Saying Rishabh Pant Shall Be First-Choice Keeper: Salman Butt

Salman Butt has said that veteran keeper Wriddhiman Saha acknowledging youngster Rishabh Pant should be India’s first-choice keeper for the tour of England is ample proof of the professionalism in the system.

In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Wriddhiman Saha recently stated that he will wait for his turn as Rishabh Pant deserves to be Team India’s keeper for the World Test Championship final and the five-match series against England.

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)
India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)

While lauding Wriddhiman Saha in a video shared on his YouTube channel, former Pakistan cricketer Salman Butt observed that the statement was a reflection of the true professionalism in the Indian system.

“Such things come out when you are true professionals. This is not an easy thing. Hats off to Wriddhiman Saha. I know him, we played together for the Knight Riders in the inaugural IPL. He is a very down-to-earth guy and he has said a fantastic thing. It shows his nobility, that he has spoken like that,” said Salman Butt.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant | Twitter

Rishabh Pant has edged out Wriddhiman Saha as India’s premier wicket-keeper in the longest version of the game. He put in terrific performances both with the bat and behind the stumps in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and the home series against England.

Rishabh Pant was integrated into the team after Wriddhiman Saha was dropped for the second Test against Australia and during the course of the next 7 Tests against Australia and England, the 23-year-old proceeded to put consistent match-winning performances to nail down a permanent spot in the team.

Rishabh Pant smashed as many as three half-centuries and a hundred across seven Tests which includes an unbeaten 89* against Australia at the Gabba to help India win a historic series Down Under.

Salman Butt: Wriddhiman Saha’s Praise A Positive Sign For Indian Cricket

Salman Butt highlighted Wriddhiman Saha’s praise for Rishabh Pant shows that the Indian cricketing system has instilled a sense of security in their players.

“I see this as a very very positive sign for Indian cricket. This means whatever systems and policies they have, they have been successful to a large extent that their players don’t feel insecure,” Butt added.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

The former Pakistan skipper concluded by stating that Wriddhiman Saha admitting that Rishabh Pant should be the first-choice pick shows that the team’s betterment is foremost in everyone’s minds.

“When you don’t feel insecure and you don’t have hesitation in saying what is better for the team, that means your system, policies and grooming have won because you realize that you are also there but at the moment the other person is better and should play,” signed off Butt.

Rishabh Pant made match-defining contributions with the bat during India’s tour of Australia and the four-Test series at home against England. He has been one of the principal contributors in Team India qualifying for the World Test Championship final. The youngster has also worked on his fitness and improved his keeping by leaps and bounds to make himself an indispensable member of the Indian Test team.

Salman Butt was picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders for the first season of the IPL in 2008. He got his chance when Ricky Ponting, Chris Gayle, and Brendon McCullum left for national duty. In Salman Butt and Sourav Ganguly at the top, Kolkata probably had the most attractive pair of openers that season. Salman Butt played 33 Tests, 78 ODI, and 24 T20Is for Pakistan. Salman Butt played 7 IPL games scoring 193 runs averaging 27.57 in 2008.

Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
/

IPL Will Just Be An Enhanced Version Of The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Without The Overseas Players: Wriddhiman Saha

Wriddhiman Saha, Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper, who himself was one of the players to have tested positive for the virus, is doubtful the season will be able to restart this year with overseas players not likely to return.

IPL 2021 was going smoothly before the start of May when the tournament was hit with a major roadblock. Despite many skeptics doubtful that the BCCI will be able to successfully hold the tournament in multiple cities amid the 2nd wave of Covid-19 pandemic, IPL 2021 managed to kick off in style.

Wriddhiman Saha
Wriddhiman Saha[photo: Twitter]

Wriddhiman Saha: Without The Overseas Players, IPL Will Just Be An Enhanced Version Of The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

The tournament continued to go on despite the Covid-19  situation worsening in the country. The stakeholders believed that IPL will provide a source of much-needed distraction to the people of the country and will also give them a reason to stay indoors amid lockdown.

But when several players and staff members were tested positive for the virus in the first week of May, the BCCI and IPL Governing Council had no choice but to suspend the season mid-way. The decision has provided a tough road for IPL 2021 to resume this year, with foreign countries expected to give preference to international cricketing rather than making players available to play in the IPL.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

With 31 games still to go, the BCCI is expected to suffer around 2500 crore loss, as revealed by board president Sourav Ganguly in an interview with The Telegraph earlier this month.

“Majority of the foreigners are from Australia, England and the West Indies. So I personally feel the resumption of the league this year is doubtful. Without the overseas players, IPL will just be an enhanced version of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy,” Saha told Sportskeeda.

Ashley Giles, England Director of Cricket, hinted England’s centrally-contracted players may not be available for the remainder of the IPL matches. England players, including ODI captain Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, and Jos Buttler, are likely to miss the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 if and when it takes place due to clashes with the international calendar. England is scheduled to tour Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Wriddhiman Saha Would Suggest Any Side To Field Best XI For 4-5 Matches As If Line-up Is Being Continuously Changed, No Team Would Be Able To Settle Down

Meanwhile, Wriddhiman Saha said that the IPL teams should give players at least four-five games before changing the squad. SRH saw plenty of changes in the first few games of the season, with Wriddhiman Saha only featuring in two of the franchises’ seven games. SRH was also the only team that saw a change in captaincy this year mid-season, with Kane Williamson replacing David Warner.

“Any player can flop in a couple of matches. But if the line-up is being continuously changed, no team would be able to settle down. I would suggest, not only for SRH, but any side to pen down their best XI and play that line-up for four-five matches straight.

“If it’s not clicking then as well, then make the changes. In such a situation, the players will get ample opportunities to deliver and the team will also bear a settled look,” Saha said.

David Warner
David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)

“But then, it was the management’s decision, we can’t do much about it. They told me before the MI game that I won’t be playing the match. But we didn’t have any discussion about trying me out in other positions. My chances again would have come depending on the performance of the team later in the tournament,” he signed off.

Wriddhiman Saha has scored 8 runs off 15 deliveries so far in IPL 2021. He smashed 184 runs off just 122 balls across the final three league games of IPL 2020, before being ruled out with a hamstring tear ahead of the playoffs.

The SRH think tank comprising of Trevor Bayliss, Tom Moody, and VVS Laxman made the headlines when they relieved talisman David Warner of captaincy duties, all of a sudden, after the sixth match. David Warner expressed disapproval over dropping Manish Pandey after the first three games.

Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
/

Rishabh Pant Has Done Well And Should Be India’s First-Choice Keeper, Says Wriddhiman Saha

Wriddhiman Saha was India’s best Test wicketkeeper and hence would be their first-choice on raging turners at home. 23-year-old Rishabh Pant used to keep in overseas conditions, where the ball doesn’t move much off the pitch.

In addition to his exquisite glovework, Wriddhiman Saha had vast experience. So, Indian management opted to field him in Adelaide as the Bengal boy played in foreign conditions for the first time in almost three years. India was bundled out for 36 in the second innings and eventually lost by eight wickets. Wriddhiman Saha scored 13 runs across both innings, but the manner in which he seemed to gift his wicket hurt.

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)
India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)

Wriddhiman Saha: Rishabh Pant Done Well And Should Be India’s First Choice Keeper In 6 Tests In England Including WTC Final

Wriddhiman Saha was then dropped. After seven Tests and two landmark series wins against Australia and England, the Adelaide debacle back in December remains his last outing for India. Rishabh Pant has earned widespread accolades for leaving an indelible mark on home conditions as well, with both the bat and the gloves.

Virat Kohli’s men will now travel to the UK for the WTC final against New Zealand and a five-Test series against England. Rishabh Pant, quite naturally, is touted to keep wickets unless some extraordinary circumstances arise. Wriddhiman Saha has accepted it. In fact, the 36-year-old was magnanimous enough to concede that his almost-certain successor merits the place.

“Rishabh Pant played the last few matches of the World Test Championship, he’s done well and he should be our first-choice keeper inEngland. I would just wait, and if any opportunity arises, I will give my best. I will keep practising for that one chance,” Wriddhiman Saha said in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.

Wriddhiman Saha was down with COVID-19 for more than a fortnight, thus casting doubts on his UK sojourn. However, he has recovered and is back with his family, all set to enter the pre-departure bio-bubble in Mumbai next week. BCCI on Thursday (May 20) announced Andhra wicketkeeper-batsman KS Bharat as the 25th member – supposedly a cover for Wriddhiman Saha.

Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Wriddhiman Saha, though, has attributed the late addition to the cushion of having three keeper-batsmen in the ranks, particularly in times hostile enough.

“I didn’t have COVID-19 during the last series but KS Bharat was still with the team. Now that I contracted the infection, people are labelling him as my ‘cover’. But I feel they have picked a third keeper bearing in mind the risk outside.” Wriddhiman Saha explained.

Wriddhiman Saha’s recent exploits have been nothing to write home about or maybe draw a conclusion regarding his current fitness level. However, he cleared the air and emphatically said he has been picked for a reason.

“If the team management didn’t have faith in me, then they wouldn’t have selected me only. But that I am on that plane is because they have some faith,” Wriddhiman Saha exclaimed.

Wriddhiman Saha would have to leave his wife and two daughters behind. He has also made peace with the fact that sport cannot take place in this pandemic-strewn world without quarantine periods. Wriddhiman Saha divides his time in quarantine between catching up on web series and working on his fitness.

Wriddhiman Saha Was Among 6 Cricketers Who Contracted Covid-19 Leading To IPL’s Indefinite Postponement

But in all fairness, the forthcoming self-isolation days won’t hold any comparison to the 15 days of uncertainty and trauma he went through at a Delhi hotel earlier this month. Wriddhiman Saha was among the six positive COVID-19 cases that led to the indefinite suspension of the 14th edition of IPL 2021 on May 4. For the record, numerous ground staff was also reported to have been infected.

KKR bowlers Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive on the morning of May 3, while CSK support staff duo of Michael Hussey and Lakshmipathy Balaji was confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus that evening. DC spinner Amit Mishra and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha’s reports came out the next morning.

But Wriddhiman Saha started feeling the tremors on May 1 and wasn’t taken to the ground for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) match on May 2 afternoon. The SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) wicketkeeper-batsman confirmed the developments while divulging further details.

“We had one practice session before playing CSK on April 28. Then before the Rajasthan game on May 2, we had two training sessions. I attended both practices and on the night of the RR game, I suddenly started feeling cold for about 20-25 minutes.

“The Rajasthan match was over by then and I didn’t travel to the ground. It was on the third day on May 3 that I reported positive,” Wriddhiman Saha, who has scored 1,987 runs at a strike rate of 131.24 in 126 IPL games, elaborated.

But the idea that a microscopic element could derail the extravagant league didn’t even cross the virus-infected players’ minds.

“Before me, two players each from KKR and CSK, and Amit Mishra had tested positive. But none of us anticipated the postponement of IPL 2021.” Wriddhiman Saha stated.

Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor V.V.S. Laxman said his side needs characters like Wriddhiman Saha, who is making a comeback following an injury lay-off. - FILE PHOTO/ AKHILESH KUMAR
Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor V.V.S. Laxman said his side needs characters like Wriddhiman Saha, who is making a comeback following an injury lay-off. – FILE PHOTO/ AKHILESH KUMAR

There could have been possible breaches of the KKR and DC bio-bubbles. Varun Chakravarthy visited a hospital for a shoulder scan before having a meal with Sandeep Warrier, who then interacted with Amit Mishra during a training session involving players from both sides.

Confirming none of the SRH players breached the bio-secure protocols, Wriddhiman Saha speculated he caught the virus from a third-party source. He also opened up on the different situations in the UAE, which seamlessly hosted IPL 2020 in September-November last year across three venues.

“We used the airport, landed in Delhi and even played the CSK game there. So if I had contracted the virus at the airport, the symptoms could’ve shown up before or during the CSK game itself. I had interacted with a few CSK guys during practice, so I feel that could have been the source.”

“When we played in the UAE last year, there used to be no one around us even during practice sessions. But here, we are sharing the space with groundsmen, people outside the ground are also peeping through the gates or over the wall.” Wriddhiman Saha told Sportskeeda.

Should the remaining 31 matches of IPL 2021 not take place, the BCCI will lose revenue worth almost INR 2,500 crore. Wriddhiman Saha doesn’t see the season resuming, especially without the big names.

“Majority of the foreigners are from Australia, England and the West Indies. So I personally feel the resumption of the league this year is doubtful. Without the overseas players, IPL will just be a enhanced version of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy,” Wriddhiman Saha opined.

BCCI is scampering to find a small window to stage the second half of IPL 2021 before the T20 World Cup in October-November. While playing in England after the Test series remains the most viable option, sources tracking developments are keeping a close eye on the UAE too.

SRH is at the bottom of the points table with one win from seven games played. They also were criticized for frequent chopping and changing – they made 10 changes to their line-up across four matches after losing their opening game to KKR by 10 runs.

Wriddhiman Saha played the first two encounters, which eventually turned out to be the only two he would play in the curtailed tournament.

“Any player can flop in a couple of matches. But if the line-up is being continuously changed, no team would be able to settle down. I would suggest, not only for SRH, but any side to pen down their best XI and play that line-up for four-five matches straight. But then, it was the management’s decision, we can’t do much about it.” Wriddhiman Saha reasoned.

The think tank comprising of Trevor Bayliss, Tom Moody, and VVS Laxman made the headlines when they relieved talisman David Warner of captaincy duties, all of a sudden, after the sixth match. David Warner expressed disapproval over dropping Manish Pandey after the first three games. Wriddhiman Saha, though, didn’t delve deeper into the speculation.

“It is completely up to the team management – a player can warm the bench after performing well and can even play all the games despite not performing at all.” Wriddhiman Saha said.

Wriddhiman Saha has scored 8 runs off 15 deliveries so far in IPL 2021. He smashed 184 runs off just 122 balls across the final three league games of IPL 2020, before being ruled out with a hamstring tear ahead of the playoffs. Then came the Adelaide humiliation. He was only given two chances as an opener for SRH before a virus confined him to a room for more than two weeks.

When asked about the misfortune he has experienced late, Wriddhiman Saha said he tries not to get affected by his performances on the field. He added that he never compromises on practice and always strives for improvement.

“I try to be the same irrespective of the situation. Practice remains the same, irrespective of whether I am playing or not.” Wriddhiman Saha added in this regard.

He has spoken fondly of his time with CSK when he got some invaluable advice from the great MS Dhoni.

“Virat is in my team, so yeah I discuss cricket with him at times.” Wriddhiman Saha, who has amassed 1,251 runs from 38 Tests, mentioned.

Making India’s limited-overs sides now look like a distant dream for Wriddhiman Saha who is championing a bigger and noble cause. He once again insisted that postponing IPL 2021 was the correct decision.

“Before that, I want India and the rest of the world to recover from this pandemic. After that, if any opportunity comes, I would definitely want to play but before that I pray for the well-being of everybody,” he concluded.

Wriddhiman Saha might have his eye on the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament in September, and if time permits the Ranji Trophy, which is slated to begin in December.

1 2 3 4 5 29