‘He’s 37, But His Fitness and Performance Are Alright’-Wriddhiman Saha Childhood Coach
Wriddhiman Saha’s coach Jayanta Bhowmik has come out and backed his ward, saying the BCCI must make the evidence public relying on which they took the decision to sideline Saha for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. Speaking to Indiatoday.in, he spoke on various issues and even went on to opine that the 37-year-old is fully fit and could have played for a couple of years.
“On what criteria has this decision been taken? This is my question. If you are going to select a player, regardless of any team, the criteria are always fitness and performance. If age is not a criterion, then on what basis has he not been picked? What is the problem? Even in the squad, there are senior cricketers, why Wriddhiman Saha alone will be dropped from the side?” Jayanta said.
Saha was told by the team management that they are looking to groom Rishabh Pant as the next big thing, which meant that his time is over. Following this a distraught Saha chose to pull out of the Ranji Trophy. He also revealed how BCCI President Sourav Ganguly texted him over Whatsapp and assured him that he will retain his place the day he hot 61 against NZ in Kanpur. He also revealed the exact conversation he had with Rahul Dravid. Dravid has reacted on this story, saying he didn’t mind Saha’s tell-all.
Meanwhile, Bhowmik was asked about Dravid’s reaction where he heaped praise on the ‘gentleman’ of Indian cricket.
“Rahul Dravid is a gentleman. I have heard what he has said. It’s alright. But then, even now Indian team has players who are in their late 30s. Everyone knows that Wriddhiman Saha is still No.1 wicketkeeper in the world. Then, what is the problem?”
“He is 37, I understand. But if his fitness and performance are alright, he can play for another 2-3 years.
“Every player, even the great Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, have retired. But there’s a time for it. It’s not like he is trying to extend his career by a year or two. He is an honest person who knows when to stop. He takes his performance seriously,” Bhowmik said, adding that his ward his fit enough to play despite being 37 years old.