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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Wriddhiman Saha: ‘It’s not compulsory to sledge, MS Dhoni never did’

Wriddhiman Saha, who put in a praiseworthy performance with the gloves for India against Sri Lanka at Colombo, believes sledging isn’t something necessary for a wicketkeeper to indulge in.

india-vs-sri-lanka-2017 Updated: Aug 07, 2017 23:49 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Wriddhiman Saha (R) doesn’t think a wicketkeeper needs to indulge in sledging.
Wriddhiman Saha (R) doesn’t think a wicketkeeper needs to indulge in sledging. (AFP)

Wicket-keepers are generally chirpy characters, notorious for having a word or two with the batsmen. But the self-effacing Wriddhiman Saha said he is comfortable not getting into verbal spats and like his senior MS Dhoni, prefers to keep it quiet.

“I haven’t seen MS Dhoni sledge ever. So it is not compulsory that you have to sledge. But to unsettle batsmen, you can twist things and say something like ‘the pitch is poor’, or ‘you have played a poor shot’. That is fine,” said Saha, who has adjusted well to his role as India’s Test keeper and on a difficult Sinhalese Sports Club wicket, had one of his better matches.

Saha was impeccable behind the stumps in Colombo and bagged a couple of spectacular catches. First, he picked up an inside edge of century-maker Kusal Mendis diving to his left off the bowling of Hardik Pandya and then took a tremendous reflex catch to dismiss Angelo Mathews.

READ | Wriddhiman Saha proves pedigree with masterclass behind stumps at Colombo

The success, Saha said, was due to a slight adjustment he made. He got up a touch earlier from his crouching position behind the stumps to cope with the extra bounce against the spinners.

“I have been seeing and learning this from childhood that you have to get up with the bounce of ball, but on this track there was more bounce. So I changed a bit and got up a fraction earlier,” said Saha, for whom the third Test against Sri Lanka will be his 100th first-class match.

“If you get a crucial wicket like this it is good for the team, a plus point, and individually it increases your motivation. It also gives you the confidence that on a difficult pitch I can take difficult catches,” said Saha of his effort to dismiss Mendis.

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Revealing his role in helping captain Virat Kohli while going for DRS, Saha said: “Virat has always told that whoever is behind the wickets, Ajinkya Rahane (slips) and me, to guide whether we feel it is out or not. But, whatever the call, Virat backs it. He does not complain ‘why we took it or why we didn’t’.”

Saha also revealed that he wears a customised helmet when he is keeping. The helmet is cut in the back to allow free movement of his head. “It is cut from behind. So once I sit in position, it helps my neck move around easily.”

First Published: Aug 07, 2017 19:42 IST

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