Wriddhiman Saha : I never felt that the dressing room atmosphere was tense under Anil Kumble

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Wriddhiman Saha : I never felt that the dressing room atmosphere was tense under Anil Kumble

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SportsCafe Desk


Wriddhiman Saha has asserted that rumors of dressing room discord under former team India head coach Anil Kumble were unfounded and that the dressing room atmosphere was never tense under him. He also cleared that India will not take Sri Lanka team lightly despite their present situation.

There was much hue and cry when Kumble stepped down from the head coach position and the hunt for the post was ended with the name of Ravi Shastri. During the whole saga, reports came out in media that the relationship between Kumble and the team was not good. But, Indian wicketkeeper Saha has disclosed that he never felt any pressure in the dressing room during Kumble’s presence. He also emphasised on the support which he got from the 46-year-old.

“Kumble was all about technical inputs. He told me to change my stance a bit and it helped me immensely. At this level, the coach cannot teach you everything. But then, his role becomes important from the outside. Often, the players would react in the heat of the moment and might not be able to execute the plans. So Kumble used to analyse our mistakes and give us inputs on where we could improve. He was quite frank about his views and I never felt that the dressing room atmosphere was tense under him. We shared a very open relationship,” Saha told TOI in an interview.

Saha showed his wicket-keeping skills when he got the opportunity after MS Dhoni’s retirement from Test cricket. He also contributed with his bat as he scored a century each against West Indies, Bangladesh, and Australia. Now, he is in the final stages of his preparation for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour as he believes that they can’t underestimate their opponents’ capacity.

“In our last tour to Sri Lanka in 2015, the conditions were different than what they used to be. The wickets assisted pacers initially before offering turn for spinners. So we have to tread cautiously and adapt quickly. Despite Sri Lanka's recent performances, we cannot afford to take them lightly. With nothing to lose, they will be highly motivated to do well against us,” he said.

Till now, the 32-year-old has played 25 Test matches for India and become a crucial part of the playing XI over the past year or so. He stated that Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s support helped him to give his best.

“He wanted to know about my preparations. I am aware that I have become an important member of the side as Kohli has given me the freedom to alter the field since I have the best view. It is for this reason too that he relies on me and the bowler's judgment for DRS. He also gives me confidence when I go to bat by allowing me to play in my own style. So in a way, I am playing with more freedom under Kohli. Kohli's aggressive leadership has also ensured that the players are always highly motivated to perform,” Bengal’s Ranji player added.

India will play against Sri Lanka this month as the first Test begins on July 26. This will be Shastri’s first assignment as India’s head coach. 

“Shastri has a very positive mindset and is a great motivator. He shares a good rapport with every member of the squad and that helps in improving the dressing room atmosphere. This also encourages the players to give their best. It will be fun to work with him,” Saha concluded.

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