Range training takes Saha closer to cricket

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha says it is tough to set a recovery timeline, praises Rishabh Pant for his T20-like batting in Tests.

India wicketkeeper is currently going through recovery sessions following the surgery to his shoulder.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

Even though he is out of action, Wriddhiman Saha barely gets time with his family in Kolkata. At the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, the early riser finishes rehab sessions in the day, takes his dinner by 7.30 pm and ensures adequate rest to his athletic body.

The Test specialist stumper has been struggling with injuries since the start of 2018. He returned from the tour of South Africa with a hamstring injury, picked up a thumb injury in the IPL and then, a serious shoulder injury was revealed. It forced him to go for a labral repair surgery in Manchester.

Amid the slow but steady recovery period, Saha opened up to Sportstar.




What is the status of your recovery? Have you been told a timeline?

No. It is difficult to set or expect a timeline after any major surgery. You will never know how long it may take. There is a day-to-day monitoring.


What does your body say? What kind of training are you at now?

I obviously feel a lot better. I am spending 99 per cent of my time at the NCA. At times, after a month-long session, I get a four-day break to visit family. I am doing range and strength training at the moment.


What does the range training cover?

It tests your hands with respect to your shoulder. Range in the sense, movement. How long your arms can reach out etc. There are many exercises. Once I pass the range and strength tests, the cricketing activities will begin.


You’ve been out for almost nine months, leaving the IPL aside. It’s a tough period for a sportsman. How are you coping with it?

Motivation varies from cricketer to cricketer. It is, of course, disappointing to stay out. But this is a better option if you think about the long run. The more attentive you are at the rehab, the recovery will be faster.


What do you think about your chances in the Australia tour? What does the mind say?

There is still a lot of time. The West Indies series has just started. See, I haven’t been told a ‘no’ yet. This is how I would like to think about it.  The idea is to get fitter as soon as I can.


Rishabh Pant has been receiving a lot of adulation for his batting. At this state of mind, how do you react to the success of your replacements?

I haven’t been able to watch all the games to be honest. But I have watched Rishabh. He played Test cricket the way he plays T20. This is his style and he has been successful this way. I never think who is playing in my place. I will do my job, and selection isn’t in my hands. If I do well, I will get a chance. Rishabh, Dinesh (Karthik) or Parthiv (Patel), whoever plays, they all will try to do their best, like I do.