Virat Kohli has labeled 'Man of the Match' Wriddhiman Saha as the best wicketkeeper in the country after India's win at the Eden Gardens today. The skipper also praised the Eden Gardens' supportive crowd and its newly laid wicket and credited the crowd for the wickets India took today.
Wriddhiman Saha, who scored two unbeaten half-centuries, was named the 'Man of the Match' after India's 178-run win over New Zealand in the second Test in Kolkata, which also handed them the 3-match series. The 31-year-old played a crucial knock in the second innings, where he batted with the tail to add some crucial runs and increase India's lead well beyond New Zealand's reach.
In the post-match press conference, Kohli praised the Indian wicketkeeper for his contribution and labeled him as the best keeper in the country.
Those extra runs in the end, Saha, and Bhuvi and Shami contributing in the end, was crucial. Saha was brilliant, he's the best keeper in the country, he's doing a great job in Test cricket. That hundred in West Indies really improved his confidence, he understands how to bat with the tail now.
With the win, India have also reclaimed the No.1 spot in the ICC's Test Rankings, and Kohli is hopeful that the long Test season at home will help them retain their place at the top.
"Our objective is to keep playing consistent cricket, having rankings and getting to number one and dropping it is not in our hands, but with this long season, it's in our control in my opinion," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The Indian captain has also praised the newly-laid Eden Garden's wicket, which offered assistance to both the seamers and the spinners.
"Lovely Test match, a brilliant Test wicket, apart from the variable bounce here and there, it will get better and better," he said.
Kohli thanked the vocal Kolkata crowd and insisted that their support helped them pick up all those wickets today.
"First innings, we understood we threw it away with a few loose shots, second innings the New Zealand bowlers really put us under pressure. Really happy for Rohit as well, stuck it out, handled the pressure really well, and you know his love affair with Eden.
"More than anything, the crowd helped us pick up those wickets today. Especially someone like Shami, running in, it makes a big difference to a bowler's mindset," he added.
Meanwhile, he man of the moment, Wriddhiman Saha, felt that his maiden Test century against West Indies has provided him with the confidence he needed as a batsman. He said, "I'm very happy for winning the series and getting my first man of the match.
My teammates and the crowd supported me a lot. Not much pressure. I'm just going in to bat, defending the good balls, rotating the strike, and putting the bad ball away to the boundary.
"The West Indies hundred boosted my confidence, but I didn't score much in Kanpur, that's why I took my time in the initial few balls. I just did my job behind the stumps, nothing much. I just keep watching the ball till the last, and soft hands, that's it.”
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whose five-wicket haul in the first innings gave India a healthy lead, also expressed his delight on the win.
"Thanks to physio and trainer, they worked hard with me (on ankle injury). Shami is the most lazy person in the team, but when he's on the field he always gives it 100 per cent.
It's a sweet victory, because you don't generally get these sorts of wickets (in India) which help seamers," he said.