In Gujarat Titans’ campaign in IPL 2022, Wriddhiman Saha has been in fine touch, scoring fast runs in power-play and giving the early push to the score with a magnificent start. In nine innings since he displayed Matthew Wade at the opening position, Saha has amassed 312 runs at an average of 39 and strike rate of 124.80, including three scintillating fifties.
It is a role where Saha has been the aggressor especially when Shubman Gill hasn’t got going. While confirming that he will be available for Qualifier 1 against Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday after a hamstring strain in the last league match didn’t allow him to keep wickets, the wicketkeeper-batter explained his role in Gujarat’s batting line-up.
“I am fit and available for tomorrow’s match. Performance-wise, as per my style of play, have to give an initial start, which suits me to go out and play risky shots. If it helps the team and I am able to contribute well in the first six overs and a partnership is created, then it makes life easy for the batters coming later, like take two-four balls extra and get a tall score,” said the wicketkeeper-batter in the pre-match virtual press conference.
Amidst reports of him leaving Bengal in domestic cricket, Saha will be playing for Gujarat at his long-time home ground, the Eden Gardens. But Saha called the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, his new home ground despite the IPL newbies yet to play a match at the venue.
“Here, I am representing Gujarat (Titans) so my home ground is Motera Stadium, I believe in that. Since I’m no longer with KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders), the Eden (Gardens) is not my home. I might have played a lot of games here in the past but I’m here to play an away game.”
Saha quashed talks of him thinking about Indian Test team selection and insisted that playing for Gujarat in IPL 2022 is his focus right now. “It’s always team first for me and not individual performance. I don’t think about (India team) selection as we are here to play the Qualifier One. All our focus is on the match (on Tuesday).”
“My main target always is to contribute with batting and keeping in every match that I play in and take the team over the (finish) line. That’s my first priority and it’s always a bonus to reach a personal milestone — either fifty or a hundred.”