Wriddhiman Saha has admitted that he faced a bit of difficulty while keeping to Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami due to their ability to move the ball too late. The Bengal wicket-keeper also stated that the team is not worried about the South Africa series and is only focusing on Sri Lanka now.
Ever since taking over the wicket-keeping reins from MS Dhoni in Test cricket, Wriddhiman Saha has been a constant figure in the Indian whites doing a stellar job behind the stumps, in particular, and making some crucial contributions in front of it too. In the 28 Test matches that he has been a part of, Saha has effected 66 dismissals, including 56 catches and 10 stumpings to his name. But, Saha admitted that it has not always been easy and he has faced difficulties in keeping to pacers like Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
“I have always found it tough to keep against Ishant (Sharma) and (Mohammed) Shami because their deliveries wobble after it crosses the wicket. For Umesh (Yadav) and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) as well, the ball wobbles but not that much, as they are mainly swing-bowlers,” pointed out Saha, reported PTI.
The current Indian Test side boasts of a great spinning bastion, with Ravichandran Ashwin as the primary spinner, Ravindra Jadeja playing the perfect role of an able ally and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav providing the surprise element. And Saha stated that keeping to such quality spinners, especially on turning tracks, could be challenging at times. He singled out Ashwin to be the most difficult spinner to keep, though.
“If you can read the bowler out of the hand, then 50% of the job is finished there itself. The challenge is to hold on to all the balls, whether they turn or not. No matter who the bowler is, be it Ashwin, Jaddu (Jadeja) or Kuldeep, the challenge is to catch every ball that comes your way.
“We have played many matches in Ranji (Trophy), India A and during practice. The more you keep, the better idea you develop. After playing for so many years, you do get an idea what is coming and it does become slightly easier along the way. Among the spinners, I think keeping to Ashwin is always a challenge, particularly because he has a lot of variations up his sleeve, and he also varies his length a lot,”
In July and August, India travelled to Sri Lanka and blanked the home side 3-0 in the Tests, which must be a matter of worry for the visitors this time. And the fact that the visitors have never won a Test series in India in all these years, make sure that the odds are firmly stacked in favour of the hosts. However, Saha insisted that his team was not taking this series lightly or as a warm-up for the South Africa tour early next year.
“It’s not like the Sri Lanka series is to prepare for South Africa. It’s a stand-alone series. Every Test is a challenge, and we will take it match by match, as a team and as individuals. Once this gets over, we will worry about South Africa and the challenge it brings.”