Saha keen to make a mark

Saha keen to make a mark

Cricket : To fill up MS Dhoni's boots isn't an easy task, says Kolkatan

Saha keen to make a mark

 For most of the last 10 years, thanks to the domineering presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, it's been an almost impossible task for any wicket-keeper in the country to make a mark internationally.

Be it Tests, the ODIs or T20s, every budding wicket-keeper simply had to accept his misfortune of playing in the era of the Jharkhandi and hope to make the best use of a chance that would pop up fleetingly. Guys like Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthick, the latter despite being given a decent chance as a batsman, simply struggled.

Wriddhiman Saha, now 31 years old, was down the pecking order. The Kolkatan, however, kept soldiering on and earned a second life in January 2015 when Dhoni stunningly called time on his Test career. He then was picked for the Sri Lanka series the following August when despite missing the third Test due to injury he did enough to emerge as the new No 1 keeper for Tests.

“To fill up Dhoni’s boots isn’t an easy task,” said Saha at a media interaction here on Friday. “He played for India for many years and was a match-winner. I will try and reach my potential and help the team, with the bat in vital situations and by taking catches behind the stumps.”

Saha, who made his Test debut against South Africa in February 2010, said his goal is to cement his place in the side by making valuable contributions. “The last one year, we played in Australia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and the way we won the series there (in Sri Lanka), the overall team performance was good. Individual performance wise, I would have liked to reach more of my potential, but that was the first series, and I will keep trying harder.

“I scored a couple of fifties in the first series (in Sri Lanka) and in the last series (against South Africa), scored in the 30s and 40s. My efforts will be to try and contribute to the team to my full potential, score in the region of 70s or be involved in big partnerships. It’ll be good for me as well as the team.”

When asked if he has ever picked Dhoni’s brain, Saha said the ODI and T20I skipper’s advice to him was not to tamper much with technique. “He keeps telling me whatever your natural technique is, just keep working on that and keep fine-tuning. It is not compulsory to change anything.”

Under the leadership of Virat Kohli and former team director Ravi Shastri, India revealed an aggressive face. Saha said the mantra would be to continue playing hard cricket under new coach Anil Kumble. “We’ll go in to this series (against the West Indies) with the same approach.

“We had done so previously as well, try and dominate as much as possible in every session, every over, every ball. That’s what we tried in the past and that is what we will keep trying this time around as well.”

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