Saha always on his toes for Kings XI

Keeping in T20 cricket does not make as many technical, physical and mental demands as in the case of Tests but then a ’keeper needs to be quick on his feet.

For Kings XI, Wriddhiman Saha has been a valuable, free-stroking batsman who revels in crisis situations.   -  Sportzpics

He is a wicket-keeper batsman in a format dominated by batsmen who can ’keep.

Wriddhiman Saha can inflict plenty of damage with the bat in T20 cricket but donning the big gloves is his primary job in any form of the game.

Keeping in T20 cricket does not make as many technical, physical and mental demands as in the case of Tests but then a ’keeper needs to be quick on his feet.

Talking to Sportstar here on Monday, the 32-year-old, who represents Kings XI Punjab, said, “You need to take off fast to get to the stumps and collect the throws if you are standing back. Run-out opportunities cannot be missed and the throws do come in fast.”

Saha added, “You have to see the bowler running in, study the batsman, anticipate what shot he is going to play, follow the fielder moving and be in the right position to collect the throw, things can happen quickly.”

The Bengal cricketer said, “You got to be athletic and have to put pressure on the batsmen. In Test cricket you can get away by conceding an odd bye but in T20, even a single bye can prove costly at the end. But the basics remain the same, you got to hold your catches, effect stumpings.”

There have been occasions when the skilful Saha with fast hands has stood up even to pacemen in T20 matches to dissuade batsmen from stepping out. Saha said, “It’s an aggressive format and you need to put doubts in the batsmen’s mind sometimes, keep him within the crease.”

Keeping to spinners makes its own demands in this format since the ’keeper, with the batsman attempting different types of strokes, can get blinded on occasions.

For Kings XI, Saha has been a valuable, free-stroking batsman who revels in crisis situations. Saha said, “The situation you walk in dictates your approach. There are times when you have to consolidate before launching into the bowling. On other occasions, you attack the bowling straightaway.”

Saha said he was willing to bat at any position. “I am very flexible about my batting slots. It’s about adapting to the needs of the team.”

The legendary Adam Gilchrist is Saha’s inspiration. “He was such a good wicket-keeper and could change a game just like that with the bat.”

Saha has been impressed with Glen Maxwell’s captaincy for Kings XI Punjab. “He’s pro-active. He keeps telling me ‘be positive.’”

The diminutive Saha does pull his weight for Kings XI.