- Wriddhiman Saha is currently out injured and is a major doubt for the one-off test match against Afghanistan
- Saha injured his thumb during the Qualifier 2 against KKR playing for SRH. He eventually missed the Final
- Parthiv Patel, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant could be the likely replacement if Saha is ruled out
The Board of Cricket Control in India are currently sweating over the fitness of their first choice wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, who suffered an injury on his thumb during Sunrisers Hyderabad’s qualifier 2 against Kolkata Knight Riders and is now a major doubt for the one-off test match against Afghanistan starting June 14th.
In Qualifier 2 against KKR, Saha was making a return to the SRH playing 11 after missing 5 matches due to a shoulder injury. The injury in concern occurred when the wicket-keeper batsman tried to defend a rising delivery by Shivam Mavi during the initial stage of his innings. He continued to bat even after the knock scoring an important 35 runs, however, in the 2nd innings, the discomfort on his face was clearly visible while keeping behind the stumps. He eventually missed the Final against CSK on the recommendation of a specialist in Mumbai.
BCCI giving Wriddhiman Saha enough time to prove his fitness
Some media houses suspect that it is a broken bone, which will take a minimum of 4 to 5 weeks to heel. Speaking about the media reports, Saha said, “I don’t know the exact situation, so I cannot comment on whether I would be taking part in the Afghanistan Test. The BCCI doctor will have the final say. The doctor will take a call next week after examining the X-Ray reports.”
The fact that BCCI are yet to name a replacement for Saha, means that they are giving the 33-year-old as much time as he needs to get fit before considering other options. If Saha loses this race against time, BCCI has the option of calling up Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant, both of whom were in great in the recently concluded IPL 2018. Parthiv Patel is another option that will be right up there given that he played 2 test matches in South Africa earlier in the year.
Even though BCCI are giving Saha enough time to prove his fitness, the wicket-keeper batsman himself isn’t convinced that he would be fit in time for the historic test match against Afghanistan. He said, “The BCCI is keeping a track of my injury on a day-to-day basis. The decision lies with them. To be honest, I might not be fit for that game. It’s not in my hands.”
Saha’s performance in IPL 2018 left a lot to be desired
Even though SRH reached the Final of the 2018 Indian Premier League, Saha contribution was bare minimum scoring just 122 runs in 10 innings at an average of 15.25. The player himself admitted that his performance in the T20 league was far below the expected level but is hopeful that the change in format and help him change his form with the bat too. “I couldn’t bat the way I wanted to in the IPL. But Test and T20 are different ball games. I hope to do well in the longer version,” he explained at the end.
If Saha does miss the single test match against Afghanistan, he will receive plenty of time to rest and recover prior to the big tour of England this year. The Bengal player is excited about the upcoming tour and believes that the pressure will be firmly on England to do well at home, he said, “Every match is difficult. When you play at home, there is actually more pressure. Nobody expects us to lose a Test match at home.”
WATCH: Cricbuzz Unplugged with Wriddhiman Saha