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IPL 2023: Away from Team India, Wriddhiman Saha enjoys twilight innings

At 38, all that matters to him is enjoying his cricket and contributing 'selflessly' for team he represents

A Staff Reporter Calcutta Published 10.05.23, 05:58 AM
Wriddhiman Saha en route to his 43-ball 81 against Lucknow Super Giants in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Wriddhiman Saha en route to his 43-ball 81 against Lucknow Super Giants in Ahmedabad on Sunday. PTI Photo

Not finished yet. That’s the message Wriddhiman Saha left across for his critics with his blazing 43-ball 81 last Sunday in Ahmedabad against Lucknow Super Giants.

With the injured KL Rahul out of next month’s World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, it was believed that Saha, with all his Test experience and his current IPL form, could be named as the former’s replacement. But the selectors have preferred Ishan Kishan instead.


The India squad for the WTC final has KS Bharat as the specialist wicketkeeper, but Rahul was expected to get the big gloves for the match for his batting credentials.

Bharat, who was far from impressive in the home Tests against Australia, has no experience of playing Test cricket in England. Ishan, who tends to struggle against the moving ball even in Indian conditions, too is a novice as far as playing red-ball cricket in England is concerned.

For Saha though, these things hardly bother him. At 38 and in the twilight of his career, all that matters to him is enjoying his cricket and contributing “selflessly” for the team he represents.

“At the moment, since I’m playing franchise cricket, I’m thinking only of the IPL now. As for the rest, they are not in my hands or in my control. So I really don’t think about those,” the Gujarat Titans opener, who represented India in 40 Tests, said during a virtual media interaction on Tuesday.

“Given my age and career-wise, I am at the twilight. I still enjoy cricket though. So till I enjoy and contribute for my team, I will try to give my 100 per cent.

“Of course, it also depends on whether I get picked by the team. But if I’m picked, I will look to give my best as I still enjoy the game and like to contribute selflessly. That keeps me going,” was Saha’s typically uncomplicated way of explaining things.

Soon after his explosive knock against the Super Giants, former India captain Virat Kohli was effusive in his praise for Saha on social media. “When a superstar or a knowledgeable player or individual appreciates my effort, it does feel good.

“I also realise that maybe I’m doing it really well in such a short time, which has brought about such appreciation. So I take this as a motivation and look to keep going forward,” Saha stated, reacting to Kohli’s post.

The former India keeper-batter, though, believes Bharat, who is also his teammate at the Titans, should be able to do well in the WTC final at The Oval if included in the XI. “I played India A matches in England and was also on tours with the (Indian) team when (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni and Rishabh (Pant) were playing.

“I have shared those experiences with KS. Besides, I’ve been with him in Team India camps and India A team as well. I’ve also shared stuff like how I used to keep in my early days. He’s working hard and should improve going further.”

Boult’s ‘Black Cap’ desire 

Jaipur: New Zealand pacer Trent Boult has opted out of a national contract but he still has a "big desire" to play for the Black Caps in the ODI World Cup to be held in India later this year.

“I’ve still got that big desire to play for New Zealand. It is what it is: I’ve made my decision. I’ve been lucky enough to have a 13-year career in the Black Cap and hey, I’ve still got a big desire to play in the World Cup as well.

“We’ll see how that unfolds: there’s still a bit of movement in the landscape at the moment,” Boult, currently in the Rajasthan Royals camp, told ESPNcricinfo.

The 33-year-old, who was in the team during the 2019 ODI campaign, gave up his New Zealand contract last August to spend more time with family and continue playing franchise cricket around the world. He hasn't been picked for the national team since the T20 World Cup last year.


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