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Wriddhiman Saha best wicketkeeper in India: Virat Kohli

India Today logo India Today 03-10-2016
© Reuters Image

Virat Kohli showered rich praise on Wriddhiman Saha and said the Bengal glovesman was the best wicketkeeper in India right now.

Saha's twin fifties (he made 54 not out and 56 not out) at the Eden Gardens helped India crush New Zealand by 178 runs and take an invincible 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series. In the process, India also reclaimed the number one spot in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings.

Saha was named Man-of-the-Match for his efforts for the first time in his international career. Kohli, who has now led India to victory in nine out of his 16 Tests as captain, said Saha was brilliant in front of his home crowd.

"Saha is the best wicketkeeper in the country right now and he's doing a great job in Test cricket. That hundred in the West Indies really improved his confidence; he now understands how to bat with the tail now.

"Saha is wonderful behind the stumps and can bat. He backs himself to play his shots," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

© AP Photo

Saha, in the course of his majestic effort in the second innings, joined an elite list of Indian wicketkeepers. Only three before him had scored two fifties in a Test match. MS Dhoni had done it four times while Farok Engineer and Dilawar Hussain had achieved the feat once each.

Saha's composure behind the stumps has left several observers in awe. But he has remained inconspicuous in the team. Good wicketkeepers are inconspicuous - they do the job quietly and without much of a fuss.

The 31-year-old wicketkeeper is nowhere as flamboyant as Dhoni was - his flair for the big shots is now legendary. He would attack and smash those big hundreds to suddenly take the game away from the opponents. But Saha is different - he puts his head down and digs deep. He has a wide array of strokes and he backs himself to play those shots at crunch situations.

© AP Photo

This Test match would become a part of folklore soon. As Bengal's favourite son watched from the sidelines, a young man, with resolve and determination kept several thousand Kolkatans on their toes.

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