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IPL 2020: The 360 degree man that is Saha

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on October 29, 2020 | Last updated on October 29, 2020 at 12.28 am
Wriddhiman Saha of SRH plays a shot during the match against DC. (IPL)

He is more than capable of hitting those strokes, but not by brute force and power, but with sheer timing

The thing about human beings is they are quick to judge or bracket people. That is human nature. But ever so often, those judged or bracketed, surprise you in the most different of ways. And that, is the beauty of life.

Looks can be deceiving and it quite certainly is in Wriddhiman Saha’s case. The wicketkeeper-batsman from Bengal wouldn’t be a shoe-in in the playing XI in any of the IPL teams.

And that is because he has come to be known as one of ‘Test match’ quality but not for the fast-paced razzmatazz that is T20.

So, it clearly came as a surprise that Sunrisers Hyderabad had inked in Saha, instead of someone like Jonny Bairstow against the Delhi Capitals, the other night.

The thinking behind that may have been tactical as well as going on a hunch. For one, it would negate the opposition’s match-up plans, lend a bit of solidity to the batting order, and perhaps even the element of surprise since he had played only one game before this, against the Kolkata Knight Riders, a month ago.

And Saha did all that and more than what his skipper David Warner and the team management had asked of him. But rather than act as the ideal foil while Warner went berserk, it was a two-pronged assault by the openers. Saha, in fact, had raced past the Australian to 21 in nine balls in the opening three overs.

Saha might come across as one who is not capable of hitting those big powerful shots but appearance is not what matters. He is more than capable of hitting those strokes, but not by brute force and power, but with sheer timing.

It was once said about former Indian captain Rahul Dravid that he was not cut out for the shorter formats of the game. But the Karnataka batsman went on to prove that there is more to him than just ‘The Wall.’

Saha’s strokes were proper cricketing shots and he scored runs all around the wicket. And the thing is in this world of explosive hitters, there is still space for this breed of cricketers like Dravid and Saha.

Even the legendary Sachin Tendulkar was impressed with Saha’s stroke-play.

“Very smart batting,” the former Indian batsman wrote on Twitter. “I also feel that @Wriddhipops quick scoring ability is invariably underrated!”

Not many remember that Saha has a century in the IPL, not least in a final, in 2014. Saha had cracked a 55-ball 115 for Kings XI Punjab against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

It only goes to show that appearances can be deceiving.

james@khaleejtimes.com





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