Saha: Beating India at home will be tough

In home conditions, the Indian Test wicketkeeper says Australia is not a favourite to put it past the host nation in the upcoming one-day and T20 series.

Indian Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (right) says the side's bench strength has held the team in good stead.   -  AFP

Wriddhiman Saha has said that Australia may find it difficult to beat India in home conditions. Saha, India's Test wicketkeeper-batsman, said the host would be the favourite to win the upcoming one-day and T20 series against Australia, starting at Chennai on September 17, despite adopting a rotation policy.

“Beating India in India will always be tough. Australia has done well last time but I will put India ahead,” said Saha, who is enjoying time away from cricket, here on Tuesday.

Saha said the National side's bench strength held the team in good stead. “India's bench strength is very strong. The team is preparing for the 2019 World Cup. That's why the rotation of players is happening. India has been performing well with all sets of players which is a good sign. “Axar (Patel), (Yuzvendra) Chahal and Kuldeep (Yadav) playing in place of (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja. They are being prepared to strengthen the bench. If the need be, they can chip in.”

Asked about his own aspirations of playing in a World Cup, Saha, who would turn 33 next month, said, “My wife badly wants me to play in the World Cup. She insists that I must push harder to achieve that. I am also trying, but ultimately the decision lies with the selectors.”

Saha typically played down all compliments, including Sourav Ganguly's reported opinion that the Bengal stumper could replace M.S. Dhoni in limited overs cricket in future. “My preparation is always aimed at bettering my performance. The rest depends on the selection committee. I don't perform to just play ODIs. “Those who are saying (good things about my keeping) know better. Whatever I have learnt, I am trying to execute,” said Saha.