Wriddhiman Saha: 'Williamson doing a great job'

Wriddhiman Saha emphasises that Sunrisers Hyderabad shouldn't get complacent despite a perfect start to its IPL 2018 campaign.

Wriddhiman Saha had an action-filled day at the Eden Gardens, playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad against his home franchise.   -  AFP

As he walked in to address the media in the wee hours of Sunday, Wriddhiman Saha was all smiles to see his known scribes from the city attending the presser.

Aaj kintu shob proshno banglay,” (Today, all questions must be in Bengali), the Kolkata-based cricketer said after bouts of laughter. Featuring for Sunrisers Hyderabad in this edition of the Indian Premier League, Saha was happy to be back home at Eden Gardens, and he made it evident with his quick-fire knock of 24 off 15 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders.

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“My home ground is Uppal now. But obviously KKR is a strong team and it feels good to do well here,” the stumper-batsman said, admitting that for the next month and a half, the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad will remain his ‘home turf’.

So, what has been the strategy for the side, which has won all of its three games? “Our target is to go match by match, and we are looking in that direction only. I’ve been given a new role to open and asked to play with freedom. I’m trying that only. Overall it was a complete team performance, we did well in batting and bowling,” Saha, who opened the innings for the Sunrisers, stated.

As he spoke about enjoying freedom, there were questions on how did he play such an attacking innings despite having a big-hitter like Shikhar Dhawan in the other end. Saha admitted that things just clicked for him. “In the last match, I just rotated strikes, while Dhawan was going about his shots. Today I got the start. It's about whose day it is and should carry from thereon,” the India international said.

While Hyderabad had the last laugh, there was a time when the game looked evenly poised, with Knight Riders too sniffing a victory. “The wicket was a bit double-paced. During bowling only it was apparent. Our initial start was good but we lost a few wickets. But Shakib did well in the middle,” Saha added.

The stumper-batsman was also all praise for his team captain, Kane Williamson. “He always listens to everyone. Asked all of us to give inputs. We are doing well as a team after David Warner. He's doing a great job,” he pointed out.

With the side having young Afghan spin sensation Rashid Khan in its ranks, how difficult is it for a keeper to anticipate Rashid’s deliveries?

“It’s a good experience. After a long time, I’m getting an opportunity to keep against a bowler like Rashid. He has got pace and turn. In recent times, I’ve been keeping against the likes of Ashwin, Jadeja, Mishra, or Kuldeep. Now after keeping against Rashid, I'm more confident. He bowls consistently well. In T20s you don't get to keep much against a particular bowler but those are all vital. I'm trying my best to do well,” he said, adding: “It's most about pace variation. He bowls leg spin and mixes it up with a lot of googlies. With such a quick arm action, it's very difficult for batsmen to read them. You can see that as his strength.”

Despite being on top of the table, Saha doesn’t the team to be complacent. “We should take every match as our last match. It is good for team and its intensity,” he said.

By the time Saha finished the conference, Poila Baisakh—the Bengali New Year’s Day—had set in. With wishes pouring in, Saha would be hoping to make the year the one to remember.

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