Wriddhiman Saha is confident that Bengal’s unheralded bunch of bowlers have seen enough of Cheteshwar Pujara on television to plot his dismissal when they take on Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy final.
This is the first time in his 13-year-old first-class career that Saha will be playing a national final and Akash Deep, Mukesh Kumar, and Ishan Porel will only benefit from his advice on how to dismiss Pujara on a track where he has played some of his marathon innings.
“Whoever fights till the end will win. They (Bengal teammates) all watch international matches. They know how to get Pujara out,” Saha was reticent as usual bit surely put across a point.
His dear friend Ashoke Dinda was dropped from the squad for disciplinary reasons but what Saha finds heartening is how the young trio of Ishan, Akash and Mukesh have more than fulfilled the veteran pacer’s void.
“Earlier, the past teams reached the knock-outs on the basis of performance of a few players. For example, Ashok Dinda used to take (bulk of) wickets without much support from the other end, the team was stuck in a way. Now everyone is contributing,” Saha said.
“The bowlers are also contributing with the bat. Match-wining performances have come in the batting department. There is good camaraderie too which helps,” the veteran of 102 first-class games said.
On a personal front, Saha is excited that he along with nine others will play their first final.
“First time, I am getting to play the final and it doesn’t happen regularly. In our team, only Manoj (Tiwary) has had experience (2005-06 and 2006-07). Shami and I were tracking the team’s performance from New Zealand.
“Other India players were also keen to know,” said the man, who was benched for the two Tests, a subject he didn’t touch during his interaction with media,” said Saha.
A teamman to the core, Saha who recently became father for the second time didn’t pay heed to his wife Romi’s request of joining the team a day later.
“My wife said “go a day later to Rajkot but I said I have to go two days before as it is an important match. She did not say much now but I am sure she will have plenty to say later,” he chuckled.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines