India in Australia 2011-12 January 20, 2012

Saha's chance to right farcical debut

Since playing as a batsman in 2010, Wriddhiman Saha has been a perpetual standby. But with MS Dhoni under pressure, and his peers failing to make an impact, Adelaide could be his chance to impress the selectors
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Wriddhiman Saha will not end up as just an answer to the trivia question: "Who is the Indian wicketkeeper who played one Test for no dismissals or byes, and scored 0 and 36?" Thanks to the slow over-rate ban on MS Dhoni, Saha will get a proper opportunity to play in a Test, in Adelaide.

Record-books will tell you Saha has already made his Test debut, but this will be his first real Test match. He made his debut in bizarre circumstances. India's squad for the first Test against South Africa, in February 2010, included - you better believe it - just six batsmen. A day before the Test VVS Laxman fell sick. Luckily Rohit Sharma was in town. He was asked to stay back. On the morning of what would have been Rohit's debut, though, he injured himself while warming up.

Without warning, Saha, in the squad as the reserve wicketkeeper, was thrown into the unknown, as a specialist batsman who would bat at No. 7. Like a ghost he walked into a red-hot Dale Steyn spell, and shouldered arms to a big reversing inswinger. Bang went the off stump, and you wondered if that would be the lasting image of Saha's career. Laxman was sure to come back and reclaim his place, Dhoni would keep on keeping, but unwittingly Saha had become the face of the selectorial farce that played a part in that huge innings defeat.

For almost two years since then Saha has travelled with the team without getting a second game. A chance at redemption seemed nowhere in sight. Apart from being standby keeper for home Tests, Saha has been to Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and Australia, getting a fielding session here, a net there. Now, though, he will play. And once again, for the sake of sameness, Rohit will still be waiting for his debut. Such is life.

Back to Saha, though. He is rated highly as a wicketkeeper by those who have seen him in domestic cricket. Gautam Gambhir said two days after Dhoni was banned: "He is a very good wicketkeeper and hopefully he can contribute with the bat as well. I want to wish him good luck as playing in Australia is going to be tough. He is a gritty kind of player."

Saha said he has spent enough time on the sidelines, waiting for his chance. "I have been travelling with the team for a long period," he said. "Now that I have got the chance I just want to do what I have learned right from my younger days."

Reminded of his debut, Saha didn't sound bitter. "I remember that day," he said, "but mostly because it was my first match. I remember the circumstances in which I debuted. But I had told myself I would try my best: be it batting, fielding or keeping."

Saha said there was no pressure on him because it was cricket he was going out to play after all. "I don't feel any extra pressure. Right from my childhood I have played freely. Even when I play in India, be it a club game or state game, I take them similarly."

Saha said he had prior experience of keeping wickets in Australia so that should not be too much of a bother. "I have played here in the Emerging Trophy. I kept wickets in a lot of two-day games, one-day games and Twenty20s. It wasn't a big problem keeping in Australia so I should be fine."

Wicketkeeping in India has led to a dead end for everyone other than Dhoni ever since he smashed that 148 against Pakistan in Vizag in 2004-05. Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik have had their chances, often as specialist batsmen in ODIs, but neither of them has been able to stake an absolute claim to being the second-best wicketkeeper in the country. Dhoni, to his credit, has shown he is better than them purely as a wicketkeeper too. All the while the selectors have earmarked Saha as the Test back-up.

Now is Saha's time - as Dhoni's performance and captaincy in Tests comes under the scanner - to try to do better than Karthik and Parthiv, and possibly give the selectors an option that will help ease Dhoni's workload.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BalaSenty on January 23, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    Let us drop Gambir also. He is not going to win matches for India. This team will loose in Adelaide and white wash is sure. Better not to watch the misery. Like Ganguly sidi this team can not win and Ian Chappel also said Loosing is habit.

    Atelast india should play well in ODIs and T20s

  • Vishal_07 on January 23, 2012, 5:08 GMT

    Fair warning - this is off topic (although the write did mention Rohit's name in the above post). It will be a travesty if Rohit doesn't get to play in this tour. What is the point of all the talent if that talent is not given a chance in the seaming condition to show what he is made of. If Rohit replaces Laxman it is not to diss Laxman but to groom this youngster.

  • ccrriicc on January 22, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    Wridhiman will be better than Dhoni simply because he will only keep wickets (and may be, if God smiles score a few), not captain the side - is Sehwag a better captain - yes, - that is what we are left with - Gambhir wants rank turners and Mr. Kohli is survining with his teeth - thank Srikkanth for the mess and show him the door - for Indian cricket - for the time being - let us pray.

  • RegionalIndian on January 22, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    I am surprised to see ppl questioning Saha's credentials. Those who follow domestic cricket very well know he is the best wicketkeeper we have in domestic circuit. About his batting credentials, he is ahead of both Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel in average. You can verify the fact in cricinfo stats. Saha averages 41 in list A and first class, where Karthik averages 38 in first class and 31 in list A, Parthiv averages 40 in first class 28 in list A. Parthiv Patel's glove-work is poor, and he also failed to perform with bat in the numerous chances he got recently. Karthik has played useful innings in ODIs, and should get chance ahead of Patel in ODIs. For test matches Saha is more preferred mainly because of his superlative glove-work and temperament.

  • randomcricketer on January 22, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    @wally you don't know me much so dont be judgemental.... I have seen dull ranji trophy matches across india and 3 this season... and latest punjab vs karnatka where uday kaul hit 100 n.o. and I hv also seem Saha at the same venue a year ago he was all thumbs down

  • VigneshGenius on January 22, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    I dont know why SAHA was picked up to the australia tour. basically australian grounds are very big, hard hitters can picks up the boundaries. we are not playing in india, we are playing in overseas. in this case we are in need of a strong back hand wicketkeeper.In my point of view SAHA is not a right man, IPL only is not a life for the players.Why dont we give chance to MANVINDER BISLA. He is a very good opening batsman,a good striker and also a nice wicket keeper. why dont BCCI picks up BISLA. He is a capable person to play the overseas especially he can clears the rope by hitting hard in these big grounds.My humble request for BCCI: Please give chance to MANVINDER BISLA.

  • myStraightTalk on January 22, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    NOW THE GAME IS WHO IS BETTER IN DEFEATING INDIA. IS THAT AUSTRALIA OR ENGLAND? T20 and Oneday WHITE WASH on the card.. unless if they drop the 3 senior and change the captain. Anything less will be a disastarous tour. Australia will do better then England finally when we compare this tour with india tour to England

  • on January 22, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    @Deepak_Toronto I think that saying Dravid should keep wickets if he wants to play last test of his life is a little harsh, because he hasn't turned down such services in the past. By the way, your batting order line up might make some sense, provided that the seniors (Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman) are all retiring after the test series.

  • playitstraight on January 21, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    Saha is defintely the next best wicket keeper that we have, after MS Dhoni. After having experimented with Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel (who does not take his game seriously at all), Saha is the one. I don't know much about his batting, but his average of 41 in both First-class and List A tells you that he can bat, and bat well. His keeping skills are also superior to Karthik and Patel, although Karthik has not kept in many matches due to Dhoni's presence. If Saha bats well and scores at least 1 half-century in an innings, he should be groomed as a keeper-batsman and Dhoni must be permanently dropped from the Test side. In fact, MS himself said that he may drop the format in 2013, which is a great choice for himself. He has done nothing with the bat overseas, and his keeping skills aren't first-class either. Saha, grab your chance with both hands and take it!

  • cricketisagame on January 21, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    @Deepak_Toronto. :Looks like you have not watched many tests India playing. your team looks good with RD as keeper which is possible but have you ever seen Sachin opening in tests even when the regular openers were not available (in England tour) You have to rearrange the batting order then

  • BalaSenty on January 23, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    Let us drop Gambir also. He is not going to win matches for India. This team will loose in Adelaide and white wash is sure. Better not to watch the misery. Like Ganguly sidi this team can not win and Ian Chappel also said Loosing is habit.

    Atelast india should play well in ODIs and T20s

  • Vishal_07 on January 23, 2012, 5:08 GMT

    Fair warning - this is off topic (although the write did mention Rohit's name in the above post). It will be a travesty if Rohit doesn't get to play in this tour. What is the point of all the talent if that talent is not given a chance in the seaming condition to show what he is made of. If Rohit replaces Laxman it is not to diss Laxman but to groom this youngster.

  • ccrriicc on January 22, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    Wridhiman will be better than Dhoni simply because he will only keep wickets (and may be, if God smiles score a few), not captain the side - is Sehwag a better captain - yes, - that is what we are left with - Gambhir wants rank turners and Mr. Kohli is survining with his teeth - thank Srikkanth for the mess and show him the door - for Indian cricket - for the time being - let us pray.

  • RegionalIndian on January 22, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    I am surprised to see ppl questioning Saha's credentials. Those who follow domestic cricket very well know he is the best wicketkeeper we have in domestic circuit. About his batting credentials, he is ahead of both Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel in average. You can verify the fact in cricinfo stats. Saha averages 41 in list A and first class, where Karthik averages 38 in first class and 31 in list A, Parthiv averages 40 in first class 28 in list A. Parthiv Patel's glove-work is poor, and he also failed to perform with bat in the numerous chances he got recently. Karthik has played useful innings in ODIs, and should get chance ahead of Patel in ODIs. For test matches Saha is more preferred mainly because of his superlative glove-work and temperament.

  • randomcricketer on January 22, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    @wally you don't know me much so dont be judgemental.... I have seen dull ranji trophy matches across india and 3 this season... and latest punjab vs karnatka where uday kaul hit 100 n.o. and I hv also seem Saha at the same venue a year ago he was all thumbs down

  • VigneshGenius on January 22, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    I dont know why SAHA was picked up to the australia tour. basically australian grounds are very big, hard hitters can picks up the boundaries. we are not playing in india, we are playing in overseas. in this case we are in need of a strong back hand wicketkeeper.In my point of view SAHA is not a right man, IPL only is not a life for the players.Why dont we give chance to MANVINDER BISLA. He is a very good opening batsman,a good striker and also a nice wicket keeper. why dont BCCI picks up BISLA. He is a capable person to play the overseas especially he can clears the rope by hitting hard in these big grounds.My humble request for BCCI: Please give chance to MANVINDER BISLA.

  • myStraightTalk on January 22, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    NOW THE GAME IS WHO IS BETTER IN DEFEATING INDIA. IS THAT AUSTRALIA OR ENGLAND? T20 and Oneday WHITE WASH on the card.. unless if they drop the 3 senior and change the captain. Anything less will be a disastarous tour. Australia will do better then England finally when we compare this tour with india tour to England

  • on January 22, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    @Deepak_Toronto I think that saying Dravid should keep wickets if he wants to play last test of his life is a little harsh, because he hasn't turned down such services in the past. By the way, your batting order line up might make some sense, provided that the seniors (Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman) are all retiring after the test series.

  • playitstraight on January 21, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    Saha is defintely the next best wicket keeper that we have, after MS Dhoni. After having experimented with Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel (who does not take his game seriously at all), Saha is the one. I don't know much about his batting, but his average of 41 in both First-class and List A tells you that he can bat, and bat well. His keeping skills are also superior to Karthik and Patel, although Karthik has not kept in many matches due to Dhoni's presence. If Saha bats well and scores at least 1 half-century in an innings, he should be groomed as a keeper-batsman and Dhoni must be permanently dropped from the Test side. In fact, MS himself said that he may drop the format in 2013, which is a great choice for himself. He has done nothing with the bat overseas, and his keeping skills aren't first-class either. Saha, grab your chance with both hands and take it!

  • cricketisagame on January 21, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    @Deepak_Toronto. :Looks like you have not watched many tests India playing. your team looks good with RD as keeper which is possible but have you ever seen Sachin opening in tests even when the regular openers were not available (in England tour) You have to rearrange the batting order then

  • posybeon123 on January 21, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    this guy is uselesss . no batting in him

  • on January 21, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    @spinkking: for your convenience, you can look up Wriddhiman Saha's domestic record here on cricinfo, hopefully you will realise that his selection is not based"JUST" on the IPL but a reasonably good domestic track record as well.

  • NikhilNair on January 21, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    CMON SAHA! MAKE US PROUD! :)

  • on January 21, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Saha is the best indian keeper now. Parthiv & karthik got enough chances. lets give saha another chance. why we are still giving laxman & dravid another chance. based on their previous records??? they should be dropped now at any cost. we should look forward. rohit should play in place of Dravid & Rahane should play in place of Laxman. Batting line up should be : Shewag, Rahane, Gambhir, Sachin, Rohit, Kohli, Saha, Ashwin, Zaheer, Ishant and yadav. Give youngstars a fair chance otherwise we will again go back to Pre-Ganguly's era.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 21, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    @ SIDDARTH MONGA . SAHA HAS BECOME REGULAR CHOICE FOR SELCTORS BECAUSE OUR SELCTORS ALWAYS SELCT SAME TEAM . LIKE THEY KEEP SELCTING ISHANT EVEN WHEN HE IS A HOPELESS BOWLER FOR A WHILE NOW . THEY KEEP SELCTING GAMBHIR EVEN WHEN HE HAS NOT SCORED A CENTURY FROM JAN 2010 .

  • rahulcricket007 on January 21, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    @OFFSTUMP LINE . EVEN MURALI VIJAY AVERAGES IN 50s IN FIRST CLASS CRICKET . BUT WE ALL SEE HOW GOOD WAS HE WHEN HE PLAYED FOR INDIA .

  • wally336 on January 21, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    @randomcricketer- I would lyk 2 knw how much u've followed Saha's cricketing career, other than checking his 1st class average in Cricinfo, while reading this article, to be so much sure about his atitude, handling pressure etc etc etc

  • mrms on January 21, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    Karthik and Parthiv had got many chances, but they could not make much out of those chances. Saha is a better keeper than them. Many of the selectors have said this several times in the past few years. Batting techniques of Parthiv and Karthik are not very good. They might be better suited for T20 or ODIs. I find Saha technically better batsmen from the other two. He has goot first class batting records too. Hope he gets some chances to show his potential to the team and the spectators like us.

  • on January 21, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    1) Is there any chance of we hearing the announcement of retirement from some of the Indian legends on the final day's press conference, at Adelaide? ( Thanks for all the great contributions you guys had made to Indian cricket.Thanks). 2) Is there any chance of India sending youngsters ("Emerging Players", or "India A", or whatever name you want to give), to England, Australia & South Africa, in the next 18 months... much before the next overseas tours start? 3) Is there any chance of India making domestic pitches, keeping in mind that there is a species called pace bowlers.And, keeping in mind the fact that you don't get dust bowls on oversea tours (Take a look at the report on the Ranji Trophy FINALS, currently in process) !

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 21, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Saha is a good WK and a decent bat. If he gets to play in Adelaide, he will score more than LAX, Viru, Gauti, and Dravid. Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel got their chances, but could not perform. Why should Dravid keep wickets instead of Saha? Saha is a much better keeper and I am sure, if given a chance, he can score more than Dravid. At least he won't get bowled between bat and pad like a school boy.

  • Deepak_Toronto on January 21, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    Dravid should keep wickets if he wants to play last test of his life. ROHIT SHARMA,ASWIN,PUJARA ,RAHANE AND MITHUN SHOULD PLAY PLAYING 11 SHOULD BE: 1.TENDULKAR 2.RAHANE 3. DRAVID: WK 4.ROHIT SHARMA 5. SEWAG 6. KOHLI/GAMBHIR 7. ASHWIN 8.PUJARA 9.ZAHEER 10.YADAV 11.MITHUN

  • on January 21, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    Undoubtedly Saha is the best wicket keeper in the country not sure whether his batting will be uptp international standards!!!

  • gangulys on January 21, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Guys who are criticizing Saha, I don't think they know much about wicketkeeping. Some of you must be kidding, to say make Dravid the keeper and get Rohit Sharma in. Dravid is no loger 27 but 39, he can't concentrate as a batsman long enough, can't hold on to simple catches sometimes standing in the slip cordon and now you want him to keep wickets and bat as an opener also maybe??

    With regards to Saha, I have heard a lot of experts talking repeatedly about him as the best wicketkeeper technically, and I have no doubt he is ahead of Dhoni as a keeper for pacers. For spinners Dhoni is exceptional, partly because he has kept to Kumble and Harbhajan for long. He isn't a fantastic bat but decent enough, and am sure he cannot go worse than Dhoni. Karthik cannot score runs in Ranji, IPL nowadays. In the Ranji semis, he got a blob and 8, you want him in the team?

  • on January 21, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    Saha, a waste - bring DK.

  • Romenevans on January 21, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    @ OffStumpLine - Wait and watch to watch him bat at the Adelaide Test, you'll know what i mean. He won't last for 5 mins while batting against those demon fast bowlers.

  • on January 21, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    Dinesh Karthik opened well in England a few years back.... But then he was gone!! Why was he not persisted as a backup opener?

  • on January 21, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    At any given day, Karthik is a better WK batsman than Saha PERIOD

  • on January 21, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    The point is .. ever seem Dhoni left all else in his wake, we've forgotten just how crucial the role of wicketkeeper- batsman is. Dhoni always had a batting technique all his own, which looks spectacular when it comes off. Though it's not particularly test- class, time and again, he has adapted, ran hard and turned around his game. But the important part was, despite his workload, captaincy etc. he has done a reasonable job of being a better keeper. Karthik's keeping fell away - though his batting remains plucky and he's pretty good as a fielder without the gloves as well, Parthiv's keeping was the reason he was dropped anyway. Utthappa, Dravid etc would only be stop-gap options. At some point Dhoni, now on the wrong side of 30 would give way physically and mentally, .. we need to groom Saha to take over. Else we'd face the same situation which SA face now with Boucher.

  • S.Jagernath on January 21, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    Hopefully Wriddhiman Saha's abilities with the gloves will overshadow M.S Dhoni & Saha's batting technique helps him put out a good performance to create a stir.

  • usernames on January 20, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    He is the best WK in India, after Dhoni. It makes sense to play him rather than Patel, or Karthik both of whom have squandered their chances. Karthik got an extended run and failed to do anything. His fielding also ranged from atrocious to average.

    He has a decent FC average and from what I have seen of him, he has a good technique too. I don't know how worse he can do though; Dhoni himself hasn't scored more than 20 runs in most matches. Even in Saha scores a 30-35, he would have done a better job than Dhoni. Wish him all the luck!

    Those who are saying he's an IPL pick, no, he isn't. Just because some players don't make headlines doesn't make them any less a player. He is a decent player but much better than overrated and overhyped Karthik and Patel. Others aren't even in the frame, let alone knock the test doors.

  • Raj12345 on January 20, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    Saha is simple joke in team

  • on January 20, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    Karthik's score in England when India won the series in 2007 -

    Lord's: 8 & 60 (Match drawn) Nottingham: 77 & 22 (India Won by 7 Wickets) The Oval: 91 & 8 (Match drawn)

    And he opened in all these innings. Dhoni did save the Lord's Test. But I don't understand why Dinesh Karthik is discarded. Any opener scoring those runs in English conditions must be a decent bat ... at least better than Saha who is totally untested. And he was a good keeper too. I don't say Saha can't do well ... but why is Dinesh not in the frame.

    Looking at an example of how other teams handle their players. In 2001-02, I kept hearing Aussies say that Shane Watson was one of the stars to watch out for. An in the initial 4 years of his Test career .... from 2005-2009 he had played 11 tests. Average in those years - 27.61 with highest score being 78. And yea ... he used to play down the order. There could be arguments that he played in tough conditions. Well 4 of those 11 were in India and 7 in Aus or Eng.

  • Sports4Youth on January 20, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    What is the result i am pretty sure he will bat better than VVS.

  • myStraightTalk on January 20, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    NOW THE GAME IS WHO IS BETTER IN DEFEATING INDIA. IS THAT AUSTRALIA OR ENGLAND? T20 and Oneday WHITE WASH on the card.. unless if they drop the 3 senior and change the captain. Anything less will be a disastarous tour. Australia will do better then England finally when we compare this tour with india tour to England.

  • JoydeepGupta on January 20, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    This lad should get much more opportunities in Test matches! He is currently best wicket-keeper in the country. Karthik and Patel are proven failures!

  • pritpalpabla on January 20, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    I think it's time now.. India need to see a replacement for MS Dhoni in test cricket.... and make Gambhir test captain... OR at-least give some time off to Dhoni from test cricket and try Saha for couple of test series... playing international match is itself a big pressure... You can't judge a player by playing only one test match... And I don't know what's up with Dhoni, He never get injured... Hopefully he will get injured in the next test series so that India can try other WK options...

  • silly.point on January 20, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    PS: I made an error in the last post. Saha has the second highest dismissal/innings this Ranji season, behind Gujrat's Barot. However, his figures are twice as good as Karthik's, and nearly a dismissial/innings better than Pathiv's. His batting average was 117 (yes! not lying) but that is an inflated figure as a result of the unbeaten ton. If he had played the full season, it would have surely gone down. However, I think we can agree he is no mug with the bat either.

  • silly.point on January 20, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    Typically, most of the criticism against Saha comes from the ill informed lot. @ randomcricketer: for attitude and pressure handling, see http://www.espncricinfo.com/ipl/engine/match/336003.html, after which David Hussey heaped praise on him for temperament in pressure situations. Guess he knows a bit more about that than you, eh? In the same tournament, he had the second highest number of dismissals despite KKR not progressing, while keeping to the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul. Many have suggested Dravid taking over the big gloves. Even they know that is wishful thinking. Even 9 years back Dravid was not good enough for a 5 day game, where a miss is more costly than in the shortened formats, and requires far more technique and stamina. A decade later - no way! Dravid himself would agree. But I do hope Rohit is given a chance. He deserves to showcase his talent while the fire still burns brightly. Sehwag was considered ODI material - before blasting centuries in SA and Australia

  • sportofpain on January 20, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Give him a chance. Those who criticize him without knowing anything about him are being very unfair. Let us congratulate him on his selection and hope he does an awesome job for India. Good luck Saha!

  • tutultuhin on January 20, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    the only way india can finish the test in 5 days is bring in rohit sharma for dhoni and ojha for ashin/vinay and let dravid do the keeping,saha will be a disastrous

  • Sports4Youth on January 20, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    @ OffStumpLine i agree to your view and dont agree with Kavindeven. Saha is vey much a capable batter. Only hope he gets a decent opportunity, and one match in such testing conditions is not a decent apportunity by any standards.

  • Freewheeler on January 20, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    I am not averse to the short-term fix of getting Dravid to keep wickets. He has been a total failure in Australia (I think his aging eyes have started to flounder when the ball is pitched up) and he could be more useful to the team by keeping wickets. That will enable Rohit Sharma to get a game as well. Play Laxman at No.3 so that Dravid can get adequate rest, recover, and play at No.5 after Tendulkar. My eleven will be: Sehwag, Gambhir, Laxman, Tendulkar, Dravid (wk), Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, and Pragyan Ojha. Time to let Ishant rest for a wee bit.

  • Sports4Youth on January 20, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Poor fellow, what is his motivation ? he knows his chance is for one test only. But if he changes his mind set and takes it as an opportunity to cement his place and goes on to produce someting special .... he may do it. after all his first class record is good.

  • Freewheeler on January 20, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    @ RandomCricketer. No - I am not hyping up Saha. He might turn out to be a damp squib - damper than Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel. I'm just stating the bleeding obvious that his chance is well-deserved. It is better to give him a decent run in the test team to see if he belongs or falters. Uday Kaul can come up for selection if Saha flunks.

  • spinkingKK on January 20, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Karthik should be the regular wicket keeper for India in test matches. I don't know where this Saha comes from. I haven't heard any news about this guy playing a a big, let alone match winning, innings in any domestic matches. Maybe I missed his heroics in IPL becuase I don't watch it. Even if he did play well in IPL, that should mean nothing when selecting a test team. I can't beleive these selectors keep sidelining the good competetors like Karthik, Sreesanth, Irfan pathan and keeps selecing the guys like Vinay Kumar, Unadkat and Saha (To be fair, I haven't seen Saha play. But, I can't imagine he will be better cricketer than Karthik).

  • OffStumpLine on January 20, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    @ Kavindeven - "physically Incapable batsmen"?! Would be interesting to understand what you mean there! Saha is not an incapable batsman, I don't think. He's got an average of 40+ in first class cricket, having scored 5 centuries. This is not an outstanding record by any means, but to call him an incapable batsman, isn't quite right, is it? Still interested to understand what you mean by the extra 'adjective' (read physical) there though!

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 20, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    Yeah i just checked. His first clas record is also good. He has an average of 41 in first class. So he is more than capable of grabbing the apportunity iwth both his gloves.

  • randomcricketer on January 20, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    I seriously don't know what is this hype about good for nothing Saha. Attitude 2/10, pressure handling 1/10, batting 3/10, body language 0/100 and first-class average - 41. I have been following Uday Kaul for the last two years and i know he is a much much better keeper/batsman(first class average - 49)

  • ramli on January 20, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    Dinesh karthik squandered his chance to make it big ... when Dhoni opted to skip test series in Sri Lanka ... Parhtiv Patel never infused confidence while keeping for spinners in West Indies ... let us hope that Saha grabs his chance and seals his place in the tests as wicket keeper ... and let Dhoni play as a batsman if he proves to be one ... good luck Saha

  • Freewheeler on January 20, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    Yes - he made a farcical debut but that was none of his fault. For the uninitiated, Wriddhiman Saha has a first class batting average that is better than MSD, Parthiv Patel, and Dinesh Karthik. He is also widely considered to be the better wicketkeeper among the lot. So, rather than begrudging either his 'luck' or 'regional parochialism', let us give this man a decent run in the team (and I'm not a Bengali). Good luck Saha!

  • Viky_Robin on January 20, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Ommon Saha ALL THE BEST. Don't worry about anything go in with blank mind play your natural game.

  • on January 20, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    whats the problem if Dravid keeps the wicket.. and Rohit Sharma comes in place of Dhoni for this test...Its just blunder to go ahead with Saha in place of Rohit when Indian batting seems to be so thin...Also I would prefer Ojha in place of Ishant Sharma.... Best bowlers should always been fielded irrespective the pitch conditions and circumstances... learn something from the examples of Warne, Murlidharan and Kumble.

  • on January 20, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    @Siddharth-Sorry, I beg to disagree with your point 'Dhoni, to his credit, has shown he is better than them purely as a wicketkeeper too' when the fact is the other way round. Dhoni's batting is good only in the subcontinent ODIs and has struggled to score in Aus, Eng, SA, WI etc. The lesser said about his keeping the better be it home or away. He is the not the sort of athletic keeper or a very good batsman in all forms like Gilchrist. Karthik was discarded only due to his superior keeping skills and with better batting scores, he would have challenged Dhoni. The same is the case with Saha. So long as Dhoni is captain, he won't allow any good keeper batsman in the playing XI. He is 'considering' quitting tests, not ODIs just to endorse more products. No test player gets endorsement deals. Laxman is a classic example who has played in more than a 100 tests but has hardly any ads to show. So, Dhoni wants to continue in ODIs to keep his alternate income source intact.

  • VikkuVinakaram on January 20, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    From whatever little I have seen of Saha, he just isnt another "good" keeper but rather an "athletic" one and he has youth to his side as well ...hope he is able to grab this chance with both hands. he has nothing to lose.

  • arya_underfoot on January 20, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    Saha's a good keeper. We'll hopefully have one player who does what he's picked to do properly...

    Mongia and Dighe weren't bad cricketers- they played important roles in some major triumphs for india

  • Meherdeen on January 20, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    Team Inida must have a good W/K Batsmen to takover from Dhoni at circumstances like this. If Saha is to keep wickets then he sould be given a long stint to get used as well as to secure some confidence. Best of Luck to Team India.

  • ddhillon21 on January 20, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Why dont Dravid keep the wicket and bring Rohit Sharma in the team. Additional batsman and Rohit is definitely better than Saha

  • prabhurajgounder on January 20, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    A tough customer Saha is, as far as I know him. Uses the short handle well and is a busy player with Bat. Technically well equiped to keep in test cricket. This chance comes his way immediately after Dhoni hinted his retirement, Australia should be a blessing in disguise. All the best Saha!!

  • Romenevans on January 20, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Physically Saha looks like a Incapable player when it comes to batting, so that's a big draw back. But his W?K and fielding skills are quite good, but that alone will not do any good for india. He is like Nayan Mongia or Sameer Dighe, who were good keepers but physically Incapable batsmen.

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  • Romenevans on January 20, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Physically Saha looks like a Incapable player when it comes to batting, so that's a big draw back. But his W?K and fielding skills are quite good, but that alone will not do any good for india. He is like Nayan Mongia or Sameer Dighe, who were good keepers but physically Incapable batsmen.

  • prabhurajgounder on January 20, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    A tough customer Saha is, as far as I know him. Uses the short handle well and is a busy player with Bat. Technically well equiped to keep in test cricket. This chance comes his way immediately after Dhoni hinted his retirement, Australia should be a blessing in disguise. All the best Saha!!

  • ddhillon21 on January 20, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Why dont Dravid keep the wicket and bring Rohit Sharma in the team. Additional batsman and Rohit is definitely better than Saha

  • Meherdeen on January 20, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    Team Inida must have a good W/K Batsmen to takover from Dhoni at circumstances like this. If Saha is to keep wickets then he sould be given a long stint to get used as well as to secure some confidence. Best of Luck to Team India.

  • arya_underfoot on January 20, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    Saha's a good keeper. We'll hopefully have one player who does what he's picked to do properly...

    Mongia and Dighe weren't bad cricketers- they played important roles in some major triumphs for india

  • VikkuVinakaram on January 20, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    From whatever little I have seen of Saha, he just isnt another "good" keeper but rather an "athletic" one and he has youth to his side as well ...hope he is able to grab this chance with both hands. he has nothing to lose.

  • on January 20, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    @Siddharth-Sorry, I beg to disagree with your point 'Dhoni, to his credit, has shown he is better than them purely as a wicketkeeper too' when the fact is the other way round. Dhoni's batting is good only in the subcontinent ODIs and has struggled to score in Aus, Eng, SA, WI etc. The lesser said about his keeping the better be it home or away. He is the not the sort of athletic keeper or a very good batsman in all forms like Gilchrist. Karthik was discarded only due to his superior keeping skills and with better batting scores, he would have challenged Dhoni. The same is the case with Saha. So long as Dhoni is captain, he won't allow any good keeper batsman in the playing XI. He is 'considering' quitting tests, not ODIs just to endorse more products. No test player gets endorsement deals. Laxman is a classic example who has played in more than a 100 tests but has hardly any ads to show. So, Dhoni wants to continue in ODIs to keep his alternate income source intact.

  • on January 20, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    whats the problem if Dravid keeps the wicket.. and Rohit Sharma comes in place of Dhoni for this test...Its just blunder to go ahead with Saha in place of Rohit when Indian batting seems to be so thin...Also I would prefer Ojha in place of Ishant Sharma.... Best bowlers should always been fielded irrespective the pitch conditions and circumstances... learn something from the examples of Warne, Murlidharan and Kumble.

  • Viky_Robin on January 20, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Ommon Saha ALL THE BEST. Don't worry about anything go in with blank mind play your natural game.

  • Freewheeler on January 20, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    Yes - he made a farcical debut but that was none of his fault. For the uninitiated, Wriddhiman Saha has a first class batting average that is better than MSD, Parthiv Patel, and Dinesh Karthik. He is also widely considered to be the better wicketkeeper among the lot. So, rather than begrudging either his 'luck' or 'regional parochialism', let us give this man a decent run in the team (and I'm not a Bengali). Good luck Saha!