Wriddhiman Saha has said that it will take at least four months for him to get back to full fitness. “As per the doctors, it varies from body to body as far as full recovery is concerned. Safe to say, it will take four months,” the wicketkeeper told Cricbuzz. Saha has been out of action ever since his last IPL match for Sunrisers Hyderabad in May due to a number of injuries, chief of which were a broken finger and a shoulder problem. He said that he is focussing on taking his recovery process one step at a time instead of getting back onto the pitch as soon as possible.
“I have just started the rehab two days back at the NCA, I haven’t been told how long I would need to be here. But yes, a stretch of 3-4 months can take a toll, so I will be given breaks and be with family, come back and resume the rehab, something on these lines,” Saha said.
His injury was one that had a lot of speculation surrounding it with there being allegations that it was aggravated because of a bungled rehabilitation. He had initially been sidelined of the second and third Test in South Africa because of a hamstring injury before which he missed the latter stages of the IPL due to a finger injury, which was later revealed to be a broken thumb when he got ruled out of the Test match against Afghanistan. All this while, the BCCI never spoke about a shoulder injury. Saha finally revealed the sequence of events himself.
“When I came for a rehab from the South Africa tour, my shoulder injury was detected, which probably was because of some dive or something I can’t remember. I recovered fully after that. Then came the IPL where I injured my shoulder because of a couple of dives. I injured my thumb after I came back towards the latter stages in the IPL,” he said.
Saha’s position as India’s Test wicketkeeper was pretty much a given before his injuries. Since then, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant have taken up the role. But he said that he is not worried about that at the moment. “Trust me, I am not thinking about how the positions would be in the team in four months’ time. I don’t talk about it to my wife, parents, and I am telling you the same thing. It is always 3-4 days ahead of a game that I start thinking hard about the game. The thought now is whenever I return, I will try to do my best in the domestic games. I don’t know at what stage of the tournament will I return. It is about day by day work on this shoulder,” he said.
He is the only player to have scored a century in an IPL final but the presence of MS Dhoni means that the wicketkeeper position in ODIs and T20Is has never gone Saha’s way. He said that it is limited overs cricket that he enjoys more “I have always tried to be a proper, which somehow fits into the Test scheme of things, call it traditional, maybe that’s how I have been perceived,” he said. “I honestly enjoy shorter formats more but since I have had opportunities in Test cricket, I try and ensure that I don’t falter in there trying to do something to fit into the shorter forms and lose what I have. I don’t know who’s branded me as a Test-only cricketer, but yes, since I play the red-ball form for India, my focus is obviously tilted towards that. I turn up for my domestic team and club in white-ball, I enjoy every role. But yes, I try that extra yard to ensure my focus and priority remains in the right place – Test cricket.”