India bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey has stated that the team management will take a call on Wriddhiman Saha's availability closer to the second Test in Mumbai. Mhambrey further added that Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli are in regular touch with the physios assessing Saha’s recovery from a stiff neck.
The first Test match of the two-match series between India and New Zealand in Kanpur ended in a tense draw after stubborn resistance from Black Caps lower-order batsmen, Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel. The second fixture of the red-ball series is scheduled to begin on Friday, December 3 in Mumbai, and India captain Virat Kohli will join the squad for the series decider.
However, the availability of Wriddiman Saha's service for the second Test match is still uncertain as the wicket-keeper batsman is currently suffering from a stiff neck. Saha suffered the stiffness in the neck throughout the Kanpur Test, and KS Bharat took over the wicket-keeping role during India's bowling innings in the first fixture. Battling with the pain, Saha scored an unbeaten 61 runs off 126 balls in the second innings, and played a crucial role in putting India in a commanding position.
Meanwhile, India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey has said that team management is in constant touch with physios assessing Saha’s recovery from stiff neck, and will take a call on his availability closer to Mumbai Test.
“The physios are in touch constantly with the head coach Rahul (Dravid) and obviously Virat (Kohli) now and as we get closer to the game, we will take a call and see what condition he is in,” Mhambrey said at the virtual press conference on Wednesday.
Saha walked out to bat when India were poised on 51/5, and the wicket-keeper batsman played a vital role in helping the team cross the 200-run mark. Mhambrey praised Saha for his batting performance in the second innings, and stated that despite severe pain in the neck, the 37-year old played a crucial role when the team was in trouble.
“But obviously with whatever he (Saha) has been through, I think (it was a) fabulous effort in the last Test match to bat in that. It was painful, we realised that but he put his hand up and (said) the team wanted it and he delivered it for the team, really happy to see that,” he explained.