Keeping up with Jadeja-Ashwin, Wriddhiman loves the challenge
Keeping on pitches that offer turn and bounce makes the job of a stumper challenging but for Wriddhiman Saha it becomes more enjoyable when Ravindra Jadeja and R Aswhin bowl on such wickets.
Ashwin and Jadeja exploited the spin-friendly conditions to torment the Sri Lankans in the second Test, which India won by an innings and 53 runs.
"I enjoy keeping to Ashwin-Jadeja on such wickets. If a lot of balls come to the keeper it is good, otherwise we only get 10-12 balls all day coming to us. If you get more balls coming to you then you are always more focussed," Saha said at a press conference. "If you have to adjust to the bounce you have to get up a little early and it went well. It is a basic. I have been seeing and learning this from childhood that you have to get up with the bounce of ball. But on this track there was more bounce so I changed a bit to get up a fraction earlier.
"The wicket had some spots where the ball was getting more bounce, almost like a bouncer off spinners as well. I was getting up early for the bounce but pacers weren't bouncing it as much. Hardik or Shami, they were using slower balls and cutters, so I was standing up so that edge could carry but they didn t come apart from that inner edge off Kusal Mendis.
"We have to make such adjustments. We work and prepare differently with R Sridhar for such pitches," he explained.
Saha pulled off two stunning catches, one to dismiss Kusal Mendis and the other to get rid of Angelo Mathews. However, he also outlined which other catches he considers his best efforts in Test cricket.
"First when Mendis got the inner edge I thought he will be bowled, the ball came in but hit the pad and lobbed up. The pace was slow so I got more time to get to the ball and I could dive because of that time based on my assumption.
"It was a good wicket. It helped increase my confidence on a tough wicket. The Mathews catch just stuck. I was lucky.
It could have gone over Ajinkya Rahane but I was lucky it got stuck," said Saha, with a laugh. "Steve O Keefe in Pune (2015), AB de Villers in Bangalore (2015), and Mathew Wade in Bangalore (2017), I think they are my best catches in Test cricket," he added.
In the second Test, Saha also contributed 67 runs and put on partnerships with Ashwin, Jadeja and Hardik Pandya, allowing India to scored 622/9d.
"Team management sets the batting order, whether no. 6 or 7, whatever they decide we have to apply ourselves accordingly. They see who can bat better with the lower order and adapt and they want to extend the batting line up also by sending Ashwin ahead and holding me back."
"He is consistently making runs and taking wickets, so individual preferences don't count. Team is always first."