Wriddhiman Saha is finally starting to get his due in international cricket after patiently waiting to break into the Indian team. MS Dhoni’s retirement from the longest format opened the doors for Saha and he latched on to the opportunity with both hands.Such has been Saha’s growth over the years that captain Virat Kohli called him the best Test wicketkeeper in the world after India beat Sri Lanka in the second Test in Colombo.”Four byes on that sort of pitch speaks volumes of the kind of ability he (Saha) has.He’s right up there in world cricket among the very best. He’s the best keeper in this format right now, I’d say,” Kohli said after the second Test.Keeping wickets against Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in spin-friendly conditions is extremely tough and a wicketkeeper with a poor technique would have struggled big time. But Saha has been nothing short of extraordinary in the last couple of seasons.pic.twitter.com/uwyvo8dC5P- wriddhiman saha (@Wriddhipops) April 3, 2017The Colombo Test was a prime example of how safe Saha’s gloves are behind the stumps. The SSC pitch was like a minefield and Saha had to keep against two of the best spinners in the world right now with the pitch exploding on numerous occasions.But Saha was like Superman behind the stumps, latching on to each and every ball, even the ones which took off from a good length. He was so good in that match that he conceded just four runs as byes during the whole game.advertisement”I enjoy wicket-keeping on turning tracks because on such wickets more balls are coming towards you and as a result, as a wicketkeeper you have to remain focused all the time. I really enjoy wicket-keeping against Ashwin and Jadeja,” said Saha.The 32-year-old also insisted that it was important for a wicketkeeper to keep his concentration and focus all the time, especially on a turning wicket.pic.twitter.com/LMuBT82unZ- wriddhiman saha (@Wriddhipops) April 3, 2017Saha had to wait for long to prove his mettle as a wicket-keeper as Dhoni ran the show for the Indian Team.But after Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2014, the opportunity provided itself before Saha to establish himself as India’s first choice wicketkeeper in the longer version of the game.And in just over two and a half years, the 32-year-old has gone on to become one of India’s most prized assets.Dhoni was always a better batsman than Saha, but when it comes to wicketkeeping, the diminutive Bengal cricketer is probably a step ahead of the former India captain.Dhoni has the fastest hands in world cricket behind the stumps and some of the things that he does while keeping seem impossible at times. He has always been a street-smart cricketer and that reflects in his keeping as well.Watch the Mahi magic on loop #INDvNZ https://t.co/btMoJF0xC3- BCCI (@BCCI) 26 October 2016But technically Saha is almost flawless and his athleticism and agility is what makes him better than the rest. Having kept wickets all his life at the Eden Gardens and against quality spinners in first class cricket, Saha has evolved into a wicketkeeper who is a cut above the rest.And with the bat, he averages over 33 in 27 Test matches with three hundreds and five half-centuries. In comparison, Dhoni played 90 Tests and averaged 38.09, amassing 4876 runs with six centuries. At No. 6, 7 or 8, Saha mostly bats with the tail-enders but still manages to attack and defend according to the situation of the game.While Saha possesses none of his predecessor’s flamboyance or big-hitting ability with the bat, his dexterity behind the stumps, to go with his determination in front of them, has meant that Dhoni, who now plays only limited-overs cricket, has not really been missed in the longest format.But it’s still an open question: Behind the stumps in the longest format, who has the safer pair of hands? We leave this point open to debate.
Kevin De Bruyne believes Carabao Cup final success on Sunday will spur Manchester City on for the rest of the campaign but warned against complacency.The League Cup has proved to be a good omen for City as they have gone on to win the Premier League twice after securing the trophy both in 2014 and 2018.And De Bruyne says it crucial to keep fighting on four fronts for as long as possible.“We have the first final on Sunday and, of course, it’s the first title you can win,” he told the club website.“We’ve won it three times in the last six years I think it’s always nice to win it.“Out of the four titles we are trying for, we know it is considered the lesser of the four, but we don’t think like that – it’s one of only four trophies you can win, and we want to win it.“Plus, it always helps to win something. If at the end of the year you win something you can say that.“You always want to win the big ones, but if you don’t win the big ones then at least you have something to show for it in an OK season.De Bruyne equally hinted on Liverpool’s challenge this season suggesting the title will be too close to call this season.“We are in a good position in the league. Obviously, we want to be champions again and we are still there which means we have been busy, and we are doing well.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“The standards we set last year were so high and have never been done before so to repeat that it’s almost impossible.“We only lost 13 points in 38 games which is unbelievable and now Liverpool are probably at the same pace that we were last year, and we are a little bit below that.”[email protected] weaving some Wembley magic!🔵 #mancity pic.twitter.com/K5zW7RthXT— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 23, 2019De Bruyne will face his former club Chelsea in a Wembley final for the first time on Sunday.He has respect for his former employers and says the 6-0 win at the Etihad a fortnight ago won’t matter when the teams walk out at Wembley.“We need to be on top of our game because if we are not on top it is a game we can lose easily.“They have a very good squad and the quality and difference is minimal so everybody on the day will have to be on top form.”