Cricket

Saha enters record books

Marked improvement: Wriddhiman Saha has shown tremendous anticipation and balance on a bouncy track too.

Marked improvement: Wriddhiman Saha has shown tremendous anticipation and balance on a bouncy track too.   | Photo Credit: Halden Krog

Erases Dhoni’s mark for most number of catches in a Test

Wriddhiman Saha’s keeping on a pitch of pace, bounce and seam movement has been among the highlights of the first Test here.

He has kept his eye on the ball and the date with the record books.

At Newlands on Monday, Saha pouched his 10th catch of the match, making it the most number of catches and dismissals by an Indian ’keeper in Tests.

When he held Morne Morkel off Bhuvneshwar Kumar on day four, Saha went past M.S. Dhoni’s previous mark of nine dismissals, which included a stumping.

Interestingly, Dhoni achieved the feat in the Melbourne Test against Australia in 2014; he announced a shock retirement from Test cricket after the match concluded.

Saha has been impressive with his anticipation, balance and the quality of gathering on the sort of surface that a ’keeper from the sub-continent doesn’t normally come across.

The manner he moved to snaffle up the climbing ball after Quinton de Kock nicked Jasprit Bumrah in the South African second innings reflected his reflexes and that precious ability to make difficult catches appear easy.

In these pitches — unlike in the sub-continent where a ‘keeper is tested while standing up to spinners — the man with the big gloves has to throw himself in front of the cordon to pouch edges, or leap high to gather or complete a dismissal and Saha can come up with gravity defying acts.

Only England’s Jack Russell, who achieved the feat against South Africa in Johannesburg, 1995, and A.B. de Villiers, versus Pakistan in 2013 at the same venue, are ahead of Saha with 11 catches and dismissals in a Test.

Saha now joins the illustrious Bob Taylor from England and Australia’s Adam Gilchrist, both of whom have 10 catches and dismissals in a Test.

The little Saha can indeed fly.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:47:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/india-tour-of-south-africa-south-africa-vs-india-first-test-in-cape-town/article22398741.ece

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