Wriddhiman Saha eyes comeback through India A games

India Test specialist wicketkeeper Saha put in extra days at the rehab to be ready for those stellar dives.

Wriddhiman Saha has been nursing a shoulder injury at the National Cricket Academy.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

India Test specialist wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha may have been out of action for over a year, but he is not forgotten. The 34-year-old, who has been nursing a shoulder injury at the National Cricket Academy here, is eyeing a comeback through the India A setup.

“It will be great if I could be fit to play in the India A day-games against England Lions [starting February 7]. If the fitness is up to the mark, then only I will be available. I am almost there.

“I will definitely be fit for IPL but my immediate target is to be fit for the India A games. I can only play when there is not even one per cent doubt. The physio will be able to tell better. If I am fit, I will be going there only. I am also looking at the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 for Bengal,” Saha told Sportstar.

READ: Pant or Saha? India has a tough decision to make, says Gilchrist

In Saha’s absence, rookie stumper Rishabh Pant cemented his place with two hundreds in England and Australia respectively.

Pant is still a keeper in the making. The aggressive intent with the bat has earned him brownie points.

Wriddhiman Saha underwent a laberal repair surgery in Manchester last year under the supervision of the BCCI Medical Team.   -  PTI

 

“I have seen Rishabh in bits and pieces. He has done really well. Whoever will deliver for the team is good for the country,” he added.

Saha rose quick post M.S. Dhoni’s retirement from Tests in 2014. His athleticism, reflex and tremendous anticipation power turned him into a superman stumper in less than five years. To maintain that standard, he had to put in a few extra days at the rehab. “If I wasn’t a wicketkeeper, I would have probably been fit 45 days ago. I think that’s a difference between a batsman and a ‘keeper.

“You always need to be ready for those dives when needed. If you aren’t match ready, you will be found out and later on, that isn’t a good feeling for a player,” he reasoned.

READ: Wriddhiman Saha eyeing December return for Ranji Trophy

Keeping the IPL and domestic T20 in mind, he had also started batting at the nets. “My focus was to repair what went wrong. I enjoy being in present. I have been following international cricket too.”

At the start of the year, Saha returned from the tour of South Africa with a hamstring injury. Then, he picked up a thumb injury in the IPL before the shoulder injury was revealed. He had also undergone a labral repair surgery in Manchester.

A comeback in the year that is set to witness the maiden World Test Championship, starting with The Ashes in July, could help Saha reinvent.

“It is a great thing. Everyone will be play in different conditions, which is the best part. It will be a new challenge,” he said.

All this while, Saha has been shuttling between his residence in Kolkata and the NCA here. It hasn't been easy for him at all.

The India A squad for the unofficial Tests against England Lions is expected to be announced by this week. Ishan Kishan has been keeping wickets in the one-dayers.

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