When India announced their playing XI for the first Test against the Proteas, quite a few eyebrows were raised at the inclusion of Wriddhiman Saha.
It was assumed that he had lost his place to Rishabh Pant who became the first Indian wicket-keeper to score centuries in both England and Australia, while filling in for Saha.
However, Virat Kohli had no doubts in the ability of Saha and declared that he was the best Test keeper in the world at the moment.
The 35-year-old suffered a shoulder injury in 2018 but has forced his way back into the Test team after good performances in the Syed Ali Mushtaq Trophy and in the series against South Africa-A team.
In the first two Tests against the Proteas, the wicket-keeper’s adroit glove work has earned him plaudits from his team-mates and pundits. After the Pune Test, Umesh Yadav graciously attributed two of his wickets to Saha, after the Bengal keeper dove full-length to complete the catches. On both occasions the victim was Theunis de Bruyn, with Saha leaping in front of first slip in the first innings and completing a mirror image of the same grab down the leg-side in the second innings.
“I need to give him a treat because I think those two wickets are Wriddhi bhai’s only,” Umesh Yadav said at the end of the match. “When you put the ball outside leg stump you think it’ll be a boundary, but if there is a little bit of a chance to convert a catch, we know he will take it.”
While standing up to the stumps for the spinners, Saha’s keeping has been immaculate, collecting balls that takes off from a length after pitching on the rough with consummate ease. His quick reflexes were on display when he held on to a sharp chance to dismiss Faf du Plessis when the South African skipper inside-edged a delivery from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. The keeper juggled twice before holding on at the third attempt.
After the match, Ashwin commended Saha’s skill and also reminded everyone of his capabilities with the bat as well.
“It’s a no-brainer to say that Saha is one of the best going around, and I’ve hardly seen him miss anything,” Ashwin said. “Even from the rough today, for Jaddu, as you saw today, the ball that Rabada [tried to] cover drive. Those are all just indications showing how good a keeper [he is], and what a good set of hands he’s got. And Saha’s obviously got great composure too, and you can’t really rule him out with the bat either. He’s had some really handy contributions for the team, so he’s a great character and a great keeper to have in the side.”
Rishabh Pant might get a chance in the third Test at Ranchi considering that it is a dead rubber but he will continue to remain Wriddhiman’s Saha’s backup in the longer format.
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Former India captain Sourav Ganguly is poised to take over as the president of the country’s cricket board as nominations close Monday for elections to the game’s wealthiest and most powerful body.
Ganguly, 47, emerged as the only candidate for the top post after a meeting in Mumbai on Sunday, the AFP reported after being reliably informed by a top Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) source.
One of the most successful national captains in the sport, Ganguly retired from Test cricket in 2008 having accumulated 7,212 runs.
Last month he was re-elected president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
Brijesh Patel, a former India batsman and experienced administrator, is likely to become chairman of the Indian Premier League, the board’s lucrative Twenty20 competition.
Jay Shah, son of India’s home minister Amit Shah, is tipped for the secretary’s post.
Monday is the last day for filing nominations before BCCI elections are held on October 23.
Cricket’s massive popularity in India has helped the BCCI become the wealthiest of all of the sport’s national boards, racking in large sums of money from sponsorship and TV deals.
But it has also been embroiled in legal battles and a series of scandals, including accusations of corruption and match-fixing in the IPL.
Ganguly told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency Monday that his priority as president would be to polish BCCI’s image.
“I am taking over at a time when BCCI has not been in greatest of position for the last three years. Its image has got hampered quite a lot. It’s a great opportunity for me to do something good,” he said.
“Financially, India is a cricketing powerhouse, so it will be a challenge,” Ganguly added.
India, the world’s number one-ranked Test team, is currently playing a home Test series against South Africa.
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly is set to become the next president of the BCCI according to multiple media reports in the country.
The former India batsman and captain is likely to be elected unopposed to the coveted post and is expected to file his nomination for the same on October 14.
Ganguly is currently serving as the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) while he also performs the role of a team mentor for IPL franchise Delhi Capitals.
While Ganguly is set to take over as president, Jay Shah is reportedly the favourite to become the new BCCI secretary. Jay is the son of India’s Home Minister Amit Shah and is also set to be elected unopposed.
Ganguly’s imminent appointment is a dramatic turn of events from recent reports which termed Brijesh Patel as the favourite for the BCCI top post.
Ganguly has been one of the most respected and successful captains of India with the southpaw going on to make 113 Test and 311 ODI appearances over the course of a distinguished 15-year international career.