Wriddhiman Saha is ready to make a comeback to competitive cricket. After being out with injury for nine months, the wicketkeeper-batsman from Bengal is all set to feature in the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

While a direct return to his state side comes on expected lines, one wouldn’t imagine a reentry in the Indian Test eleven coming as smoothly for Saha. The reason for that, of course, is the rise of young Rishabh Pant.

Saha’s last Test appearance was against South Africa in January last year. After that, the 34-year-old suffered a thumb injury during the Indian Premier League in May, followed by a shoulder surgery in August, and has been out of action ever since.

During this time, Pant has managed to make the Test ‘keeper’s position his own. The 21-year-old scored centuries during the tours of England and Australia, letting the world know that he was one for the future.

Pant’s phenomenal run has made Saha’s return uncertain. The right-handed batsman, however, doesn’t hold any bitterness for the youngster.

“Rishabh got his chance when I was out and just like anyone would look to grab their chance with both hands, he did the same,” Saha was quoted as saying by CricketNext. “I don’t look at him as my competition. In fact, when he came to the NCA we spent a lot of time together which was nice. We hardly spoke about performances and selection.”

Although he does feel disappointed at missing out on the historic Test series victory in Australia, Saha remains confident of a comeback to the national team. During his downtime, he worked on his game at the National Cricket Academy with former India ‘keeper Ajay Ratra. And, Saha wants to continue focusing on the process, rather than worry about the results.

Bengal, led by Manoj Tiwary, play their first match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy against Mizoram on Thursday.