IPL 2023: "You have to be alert for those 10-12 balls," says Wriddhiman Saha

Saha has been there done that with international cricket and enjoying a final tilt at the IPL

Wriddhiman Saha (Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Titans/Twitter)
Wriddhiman Saha (Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Titans/Twitter)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

T20 cricket is known to be a game of small margins – more so if you are a wicketkeeper. Wriddhiman Saha, the second eldest stumper in IPL 2023 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni, came up with an observation which threw a spotlight on the issue again.

Speaking on the eve of their away match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, the Gujarat Titans veteran said: "In a tournament like IPL, around 10-12 balls actually come to the wicket-keeper (out of a possible 120 balls) as dot balls are rare. Hence, we need to remain alert for them and there are certain drills that I do for them during the training sessions."

Now 38, Saha has been there done that with international cricket and enjoying a final tilt at the IPL. After finding himself at the eye of a storm last year after being moved out of reckoning for national selection and then a controversy with a celebrated journalist, he again prefers to lie low and prioritise on his franchise duty.

Much like last year when the self-effacing performer revelled in the role of giving his team explosive starts with cameos, Saha is not too fussed about not being able to convert his breezy starts into big ones till date.

"Each team is coming in with extra batsmen this year and hence you see that there are a number of 200-plus scores. My target is to help reach the 50-60 run mark inside the Powerplay…in the bargain I am not worried if I am getting a 30,40 or even 20 off 10 balls," said Saha.

Regarded as technically the best equipped keeper in Tests not so long ago, Saha was asked if he took heart from the recent comeback of Ajinkya Rahane for World Test Championship final after a string of sterling knocks for Chennai Super Kings colours.

"I am happy for Rahane but as of now, I am only focusing on our team’s performance in the IPL."

 Asked if there was any pressure weighing on Titans as the defending champions, Saha said: "Last year, we did not expect anything and just took it match by match. We were playing some good cricket and won some good chases. This season, the team is more or less the same and we have had a good start so far."

The Titans management has inducted the senior pro as part of their think thank, while on the domestic front, Saha is the captain of his newly adopted state – the neighbouring under achievers Tripura. After courting controversy for a brief while, Saha is again enjoying flying under the radar.

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