Ranchi Test: Saha rates hundred against Australia as his best

Wriddhiman Saha scored his third Test century and partnered Cheteshwar Pujara in a crucial 199-run stand for the seventh wicket on day four of the Third Test at Ranchi.

Wriddhiman Saha scored 117 from 233 balls, including eight fours and one six.   -  AP

Wriddhiman Saha is mature, calm and efficient. The Bengal cricketer rated his hundred here as the best among his three centuries so far.

READ: Pujara, Saha tons crush Australia

“This is the best among the three I have. We badly needed a partnership. The partnership began slowly, then blossomed,” he said.

Ranchi Test: Day four in pictures

On playing the short-pitched deliveries from the Australian quicks ably, Saha said: “I practice batting against short-pitched bowling at the nets under the eyes of batting coach [Sanjay Bangar] and coach Anil Bhai. My strength is leaving and I try that.”

Saha admitted there was chatter in the middle between Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood and him and Pujara.

“Little banter always goes on. Pujara was telling him 'look at the scoreboard.' He was on 180 odd then. He said something to me as well, I just said 'go back and bowl.' Nothing more than that.”

The wicketkeeper-batsman said he has been playing the spinners more effectively than before. “I'm backing myself more now, whether playing the sweep shots or stepping out. I used to have doubts early in my career. Now the team is supporting me.”

Dwelling on his crucial partnership with Pujara, Saha said: “Pujara told me to break it up and think of small, small partnerships of 10-20 runs each. I just backed my strength and showed respect to good balls and targeted the bad deliveries.”

Saha said both he and Pujara did think about that immortal partnership between Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman at the Eden Gardens in 2001. “Yes we thought of it. The way Pujara was batting it never seemed we would lose a wicket. We did well in Irani Trophy posting a 300-plus stand this season for Rest of India. We backed each other.”

Queried about Pujara’s immense patience, Saha said: “He scores 200-300 in domestic cricket almost routinely. He is always at the top of the game.”

Speaking about the pitch, Saha said: “Some balls are turning and some are keeping straight. Jadeja's one delivery turned from the rough to bowl Warner.”