In what can be called a startling revelation, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha revealed that he was assured of a place in the Indian team by none other than BCCI president Sourav Ganguly. Saha was dropped from the Indian Test team for the series against Sri Lanka a day ago and this more or less could mean the end of his international career. One of his most memorable recent performances was the hard-fought 61 runs he scored against New Zealand in Kanpur last year. Wriddhiman Saha Shares 'Disrespectful' WhatsApp Conversation With Journalist
While speaking to Indian Express after he was axed from the side, Saha said, "When I hit an unbeaten 61 taking a pain-killer in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur last November, Dadi (Sourav's nickname in Bengal cricket) congratulated me over Whatsapp. He even mentioned that I should not worry about anything so long as he is at the helm of the BCCI." Further adding that he was left surprised at how things changed so quickly, he said, "Such a message from the board president really boosted my confidence. But I failed to understand why everything changed so fast."
Saha's exclusion from the Test team though, was an expected development after the veteran revealed that head coach Rahul Dravid made it clear to him that the national team wanted young keepers. Reports of him opting out of Bengal's Ranji Trophy squad emerged after he was said that he is no longer in the plans for the national side. Saha was quoted as saying, "Yes, the team management told me that I would not be considered henceforth. I could not tell this so long as I was part of the India team setup. Even coach Rahul Dravid suggested that I think about taking retirement." India Test Squad for Sri Lanka Series 2022: Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara Dropped from Two-Match Series; Rohit Sharma Named as New Test Captain
However, BCCI chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma, when asked as to why Saha was dropped from the squad, said that it might have had something to do with the latter not playing Ranji Trophy.
Sharma reportedly said, as quoted by SportsRush, “ All I can tell you is that he was told before and asked to play the Ranji trophy, which is the ladder for the Indian team. Why he did not play Ranji, the state association CAB can tell you that. That is not my jurisdiction. As selectors, we wanted them to play. We are not looking at age. When there are youngsters sitting outside, we thought we shall give chance. For these two test matches. But it’s important to play Ranji. Else, how will we know if you are match-ready?."
Not just Saha but also the seasoned duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were dropped from the Indian squad after they failed to perform consistently in recent times. Ishant Sharma too faced the axe. Rohit Sharma was named India's new Test captain after Virat Kohli gave up the role last month.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 20, 2022 10:18 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).