India to ‘go with the flow’, says Saha

The drawn Test in Kolkata was a ‘morale booster’ for the team, according to the India gloveman.

Wriddhiman Saha felt that a few overs more could have ensured an Indian win in Kolkata.   -  K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and the seam attack - comprising local hero Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma - took a break from India’s optional practice session at the VCA facility on Wednesday afternoon. Besides batsman Shikhar Dhawan, seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar will also give the second Test a miss.

In the absence of seamers, therefore, much of the responsibility of pace practice was shouldered by Tamil Nadu all-rounder, Vijay Shankar, who bowled at length to India’s frontline batsmen in K. L. Rahul, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Read: Vijay all set for Test return

India has played five Tests here since the 2008-09 series against Australia. It has won three (against Australia by 172 runs in 2008, against New Zealand by an innings and 198 runs, and against South Africa by 124 runs in 2015), lost one (to South Africa by an innings and six runs in 2010) and drawn one match (against England in 2012).

Speaking to reporters Wriddhiman Saha, answering a question on the mood of the team after the drawn Test in Kolkata, said: “The mood is good. We could not play that well in the first innings [at Eden Gardens]. But the way we came back in the second is a morale booster for us. The high points were the batting of Shikhar, Virat and Rahul; the way our bowlers attacked in the second innings to bring them (Sri Lanka) to 75 for 7. We came close to the result. If we had more time, possibly we could have won.”

Staying ‘in the present’

Talking about the Nagpur pitch, he said: “I have not seen the pitch. It was covered. Pace-friendly or spin-friendly, we will try to take breakthroughs initially, if they bat first and take the match deep and try and win the match. Ultimately that will be the aim. Whatever the pitch, we will go with the flow. The previous Test match results will be at the back of our minds. But we will stay in the present. What happened two years ago or one year ago, it need not necessarily be the same.”