Wriddhiman Saha seemed to have cemented his place as India’s wicket-keeper in Tests following Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement from the longer format. But a shoulder injury, followed by a finger and then against a shoulder injury has meant that the 34-year-old lost out on valuable playing time.
During that time, youngster Rishabh Pant has made an impression with the bat in Tests and the selectors may well be inclined to look at the future rather than go back to the tried and tested Saha for the West Indies series after the World Cup.
That leaves Saha in a precarious position as he looks to make an immediate impact in the upcoming Indian Premier League and hope that the selectors take notice of his form and utility behind the stumps.
However, Saha knows that all he can do is to give his best during the IPL and hope that things will fall in place.
“I never use any tournament as a springboard to play a higher grade of cricket. I give 100% at any level of cricket — and if the selectors are convinced that my performances merit reward, then it’s their call, entirely there decision,” he told Mumbai Mirror in an interview.
“There’s a long time to go for the West Indies series. I haven’t started my IPL yet, so we’ll see how it goes,” he added.
One thing is sure though. Saha says he can’t be thinking too much about injuries or playing safe to avoid them in order to play the full season.
“I can’t be conceding byes and playing too carefully in order to last the whole season. As I said, that’s not how I play. I merely react to the ball, and if in the process I injure myself, it’s something I’ve to accept and live with.
“There’s a reason I opted for surgery. I stayed away from the game for six months to ensure that when I return to cricket, I do so with full fitness,” he added.
Saha, who will represent Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, said he enjoys playing in the top order in T20 format as it allows him to contribute a lot more with the bat.