#INDvAUS 3rd Test: I back myself a lot more, says Wriddhiman Saha – Saha said on Sunday that the confidence he has gained has helped improve as a batsman
India’s Wriddhiman Saha plays a paddle sweep en route to his century against Australia on Day Four of the third Test in Ranchi on Sunday (BCCI)
Wriddhiman Saha has come a long way since making his Test debut as a batsman in Nagpur against South Africa in February 2009-10 to a permanent fixture in the current Test team. Always in the shadow of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his first four years, Saha has cemented his place as the No. 1 Test wicketkeeper after the former India captain's retirement.
He has matured as a batsman, scoring when the team needs it badly. Two half-centuries in trying circumstances in Kolkata against New Zealand come foremost to mind. And, his career-best 117, his third Test century here, stands out with the partnership he had with Cheteshwar Pujara, 199 for the seventh wicket.
Saha said on Sunday that the confidence he has gained has helped improve as a batsman. "Not too many changes," he said when asked about the adjustments to his batting. "But I am backing myself a lot more. Initially, when I came into the Test team, I played my go-to shots — the sweep and the shot over the top stepping out – hesitantly. But now, I am 100 per cent confident. The team, the captain, the coaches, everyone is fully behind me and that is good for me."
He admired the manner in which Pujara went about scoring, batting more than five full sessions here. "Puji shows a lot of patience in domestic cricket, regularly makes 200s and 300s in domestic cricket. From there, his patience is always on the top. The way he showed patience here even as wickets were falling at the other end after short partnerships, he was trying to curtail his shots and have as long a partnership as possible," Saha said.
Saha expected his bowlers to bowl Australia out for an India victory. "In the final eight overs (on Sunday), they lost two wickets. There was a bit of pressure on them because it was towards the end of the day's play and they were focussing on survival. We played well but they also bowled well. We batted more than 200 overs, we were availing the loose balls and respecting the good balls. If we bowl tomorrow (Monday), like we did in these eight overs, consistently in the right areas, then hopefully Sunday will be a good day for us.
"I would like all the bowlers to be effective on the final day. Ashwin bowled well to the left-handers today (Sunday). Some balls are going straight, some were turning a bit. And Jaddu's two dismissals – one turned from the rough, one from the middle. He is bowling. I think everyone will be effective."