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Staying rooted to present is all that matters to Saha

cricket Updated: Nov 27, 2010 00:44 IST
Nilankur Das
Nilankur Das
Hindustan Times
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For Wriddhiman Saha, things have happened all of a sudden.

He was patiently waiting to get into the Bengal Ranji Trophy side, staying at a dingy lodge near the Sealdah railway station in Kolkata for seasons together, far away from his home in Siliguri, in north Bengal.

Deep Dasgupta was keeping for Bengal then and had led the side to two successive Ranji Trophy finals in 2005-06 and 2006-07. Saha was travelling with the team at times and one could make out his perfect technique and good reflexes behind the stumps even during practice.

Out of the blue Dasgupta joined the Indian Cricket League and a horizon opened up for this lively but shy 23-year-old. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands, scoring a century on debut against Hyderabad at Eden Gardens.

He has not looked back and even though Dasgupta returned to the Bengal fold last season, Saha had already cemented his place in the side.

His Test debut against South Africa in Nagpur in February too came as a surprise. VVS Laxman was not fit and his replacement Rohit Sharma suffered a freak injury during a practice session just before the toss. Saha played as a batsman. He did not look ready for the level yet, but fought hard to a lost cause when India were following on.

Now, Saha is on the verge of playing his first One-Day International, a chance that came his way after Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted out of the series to take rest. He is the only wicketkeeper in the squad.

"I will approach the match like I do any other. I am not thinking about anything else and I am not expecting anything. So there is no pressure," Saha told HT at the team hotel on Friday.

"I am not even thinking about the trip to South Africa, forget the World Cup. For now, it's just the two matches before the selection committee meets again," he said.

It is this doggedness and indifference about certain things that works for him. Sunday and the match in Jaipur, here is Saha's opportunity to emerge as a successor to the India captain, albeit only as a keeper.