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 final and Akash Deep, Mukesh Kumar and Ishan Porel will only benefit from his advice on how dismiss Pujara on a track that the India Test No 3 has scored heaps of runs.
“Whoever fights till the end will win,” Saha said. “They [Bengal teammates] watch international matches. They know how to get Pujara out,” he added.
Saha’s old friend Ashok Dinda was dropped from the squad for disciplinary reasons early into the campaign. The 34-year-old praised Porel, Akash Deep and Mukesh Kumar’s recent surge.
“Earlier, the past teams reached the knockouts on the basis of performance of a few players. For example, Ashok Dinda used to take [a bulk of] the wickets without much support from the other end. The team was stuck in a way. Now everyone is contributing,” Saha said.
The veteran added: “The bowlers are also contributing with the bat. Match-winning performances have come in the batting department. There is good camaraderie too which helps.”
On a personal front, Saha is excited that he along with nine others will play their first final.
“For the first time, I am getting to play the final and it doesn’t happen regularly. In our team, only Manoj [Tiwary] has had that 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,” Saha added.
Saha recently became a father for the second time but 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 in advance as it is an important match’. She did not say much but I am sure she will have plenty to say later,” he chuckled.
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