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Wriddhiman, Superman or Jonty Rhodes? Keeper’s wonder catch stuns cricket world

Wriddhiman Saha’s flying catch of Australian Steve O’ Keefe stunned not only Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli but also the whole cricket world

cricket Updated: Feb 24, 2017 12:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Wriddhiman Saha,India vs Australia,Indian cricket team
Wriddhiman Saha takes a brilliant catch of Steve O’Keefe on the first day of the 1st Test against Australia.(Facebook)

Wriddhiman Saha has time and again been called best wicketkeeper in the country by India captain Virat Kohli. That the praise has come from arguably the best cricketer in the world only signifies the heights that the Bengal lad has slowly taken himself to.

But what Saha achieved on Thursday was unthinkable even by Kohli. For he was closest to the Indian wicketkeeper at first slip, when the latter took a ‘Superman’ catch of Australian Steve O’Keefe by jumping, or rather flying, to his right on the first day of the first Test.

Kohli’s expression said it all as the 28-year-old captain looked stumped as Saha stretched himself to the fullest to take the catch mid-air. And, when he realised that Saha had achieved to take the magical catch, came a warm embrace and words of praise. The bowler, Umesh Yadav, couldn’t help but laud Saha, whose ‘flying’ catch helped him achieved best figures of 4/32 at home.

Aka Jonty Rhodes

For the romantics, however, Saha’s catch meant more than just a wicketkeeper’s deft touch to aid the bowler. It was reminiscent of a South African named Jonty Rhodes, who mesmerised the world with his breath-taking catches at point in the nineties and 2000s.

Rhodes went beyond the athleticism shown the cricketers at the time to show what good fielding could do.

Saha showed the same on Thursday. After spending the early part of his career as an understudy of MS Dhoni, the 32-year-old Saha has emerged from the shadows and has sealed his place as No. 1 choice keeper.

Even when Parthiv Patel’s name came up after a decent show against England, Saha put all murmurs to rest with a timely double hundred at the Irani Cup.

Not new to amazing catches

This is, however, not the first time that Saha has affected stunning dismissals. In the second Test against England he affected a run out that was akin to what Dhoni usually does – by not wasting any time to catch the ball and then hit the stumps but rather just change the course of the ball with palm.

Saha also had taken wonder of the catch the 2015 test series against South Africa at the Feroze Shah Kotla in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Saha’s effort was lauded by the cricket world.

First Published: Feb 24, 2017 12:12 IST