New Delhi: Bengal wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha is aware that breaking into India's Test and limited-overs teams is a difficult task because of MS Dhoni's presence, but is not going to stop working hard on the domestic front. Currently playing for India A in a three-day game against the touring English team, Saha is focused on the job at hand as well as the Ranji Trophy season starting November 2.
It has been said that Saha is a better wicketkeeper than Dhoni but that his batting has worked to his disadvantage – this despite a first-class batting average of 43.24 and a List A average of 47.04. Despite scores of 85*, 55*, 66, 72, 53, 53* and 11 in Bengal’s successful run to the 2011-12 Vijay Hazare Trophy title, he was not considered for India’s ODI squad as a reserve wicketkeeper-batsman.
"Selection is in not our hands. Our job is to perform better," he said. "I do not know why they are not considering me for ODIs. In my last nine 50-over innings there are six fifties and one hundred. So, I have nothing to say about selection. Whatever the selectors will think I have to admit.
The Bengal wicketkeeper knows he has a tough task to break into the Indian team but is not going to stop trying.
"It is hard for me to replace Dhoni in the Test team. He is the captain and a very good player and being captain is a definite advantage for Dhoni. He is also in good form. I do not have anything to do apart from trying to perform in every match. The rest is up to the selectors."
Though he has been one of Bengal's most consistent performers, Saha finds himself out of the Indian setup while his state mates Manoj Tiwary and Ashok Dinda have featured in India’s recent limited-overs squads. Saha felt it was time the selectors recognized Dinda's potential, after the pacer topped the 2011-12 Ranji wicket-taking list. "I feel that when someone is having a good time and performing so well he should play at that particular time. This is Dinda's good time if he doesn't get a chance now then it would be difficult for him. He is capable of playing now and he should get a chance," said Saha.
Ahead of Bengal’s Ranji opener against Rajasthan at Eden Gardens on Friday, Saha was confident with his pre-season form. "I played in the Irani Trophy and Challenger Trophy and got good starts so I understood where I am at the moment. I need to improve on certain areas and I am working on those. Right now my focus is on the ongoing India A match against England, after that I will start preparing for the Ranji Trophy," said Saha. "Our first match is against Rajasthan, who are without Aakash Chopra. That is certainly an advantage for us, though they have very good batsmen in their ranks and they are the defending champions. We will look to get early wickets against them."
Saha also felt that his experiences in the IPL – he was with Chennai Super Kings in South Africa recently – helped him get a feel of how international players approach their cricket. "When we are playing with foreign players there is certainly a difference in standard. We play domestic cricket and club cricket but the level of game is certainly not that high in comparison to the IPL or international cricket. I saw how great players prepare themselves differently before the matches. If I can adapt to that then it is good for me," he said.