Saha still under NCA scrutiny

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who is in the last leg of his recovery, says he will be fit before the upcoming Indian Premier League.

Saha was forced to return to India from the ongoing South Africa series owing to an upper hamstring tendon injury.   -  Sandeep Saxena

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who flew back to India after the first Test against South Africa at Cape Town, is on the verge of regaining full fitness. An upper hamstring tendon injury before the start of second Test called time on his first full-length tour outside the subcontinent.

India wouldn’t feature in whites soon, but Saha’s improvement stands relevant for his Indian Premier League (IPL) duties come April. Sunrisers Hyderabad picked the specialist ‘keeper for Rs 5 crore at the auctions in January.

“My recovery is in the last leg and I will be fit in a few more days. I am currently at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and the medical team is assessing my progress on a daily basis. I can’t declare a time-frame like a week or 10 days. It depends on the physios and the several parameters of recovery. But the IPL is far away, I will be fit way before time,” Saha told Sportstar on Thursday.

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The 33-year-old remained updated about the proceedings in the middle and didn’t let the injury dampen his spirit. “Injuries are a part of the game and you can’t do much about it. I felt bad that I had to be back but the team did well. We had chances in every Test match; yes, we could manage only one win but that’s fine as the series was great,” he added.

Saha created a record in the sole Test he played on the tour when he became the first Indian stumper to effect 10 dismissals (catches) in a Test match by breaking M. S. Dhoni’s record of nine.

Kuleep and Chahal are brave bowlers

He also praised the wrist spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, for their spin artistry in the ODI series. “Both of them are brave bowlers. They are utilising their chances and proving their worth. They back their strengths, which is a good sign. I want them to keep performing.”

It’s true that his injury opened avenues for yesteryear ‘keepers such as Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik but that’s not a concern for Saha. “I don’t think as to who is coming into the team and who is not. When I get a chance, I try to put in my best. A player is selected on the basis of performance. I also share a great rapport with Parthiv and Dinesh. It’s not that we don’t talk to each other,” he chuckled.

Excited to play for Sunrisers

There is no clarity on whether Saha will get a few games to hone his skills before the IPL, but he is excited to be a part of Sunrisers. “I had no choices or wishes before the auctions. I am fine as long as I get to play. Sunrisers is a good unit and they have been consistent in the IPL,” he said.

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The highlight of his IPL career was when he struck an unbeaten 66-ball 115 for Kings XI Punjab in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014.

The next major assignment on Saha’s plate is the tour of England in August. “I will think about it when the time comes. I like to live in the present. As of now, I have to switch my game and play according to the formats.”