Little Saha flys high!

Wriddhiman Saha set a record, posting 10 dismissals in this Test match – the most by an Indian wicket-keeper in Tests.

Wriddhiman Saha (left) and Virat Kohli celebrate in Cape Town on Monday.   -  Getty Images

Wriddhiman’s Saha ‘keeping on a pitch of pace, bounce and seam movement has been among the highlights of the first Test here.

He has kept his eye on the ball and the date with the record books.

At the Newlands on Monday, Saha pouched his 10th catch of the match, making it the most number of catches and dismissals by an Indian ‘keeper in Tests.

When he held Morne Morkel off Bhuvneshwar Kumar on day four, Saha went past M.S. Dhoni’s previous mark of nine dismissals, which included a stumping.

Interestingly, Dhoni achieved the feat in the Melbourne Test against Australia in 2014; he announced a shock retirement from Test cricket after the match concluded.

At the Newlands, Saha has been impressive with his anticipation, balance and the quality of gathering on the sort of surface that a ‘keeper from the sub-continent doesn’t normally come across. 

The manner in which he moved to snaffle up the climbing ball after Quinton de Kock nicked Jasprit Bumrah in the South African second innings reflected his reflexes and that precious ability to make difficult catches appear easy.  

In these pitches – unlike in the sub-continent where a ‘keeper is tested while standing up to spinners – the man with the big gloves has to throw himself in front of the cordon to pouch edges, or leap high to gather or complete a dismissal and Saha can come up with gravity-defying acts.

Only England’s Jack Russell, who achieved the feat against South Africa in Johannesburg, 1995, and AB de Villiers, versus Pakistan in 2013 at the same venue, are ahead of Saha with 11 catches and dismissals in a Test.

Saha now joins the illustrious Bob Taylor from England and Australia’s Adam Gilchrist, both of whom have 10 catches and dismissals in a Test.

The little Saha can indeed fly.

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