Kolkata: Indian cricketer Wriddhiman Saha said he is relishing every bit of wicket-keeping against wily Afghanistani leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the Indian Premier League (IPL), something that has boosted his confidence.
Afghan wrist spinner Khan is currently ranked world number one in T20Is and number 2 in ODIs. He recently became the fastest to 100 ODI wickets. Saha, who plays with Rashid for Sunrisers Hyderabad, praised his teammate after his side's facile five-wicket win over Kolkata Knigh Riders here last night.
"After a long time, I'm getting an opportunity to keep against a bowler like Rashid. It's a good experience, he has got pace and turn," Saha told reporters. "In recent times, I've been keeping against the likes of Ashwin, Jadeja, Mishra or Kuldeep. Now after keeping against Rashid, I'm more confident," he said of Rashid, who was retained by SRH at this year's auction for Rs 9 crore using the right to match card.
Brilliant at death as well as in the Powerplay, the 19-year-old Khan is a hot property in T20 franchise leagues around the world and has been hugely influential in his nation's rise from an ICC Associate level team to a get a full member status. "He bowls consistently well. In T20s, you don't get to keep much against a particular bowler but those are all vital. I'm trying my best to do well," Saha said.
"It's about his pace variations. He bowls leg spin and mixes it up with a lot of googlies. With such a quick arm action, it's very difficult for batsmen to read them. You can say that is his strength," Saha added.
Backed by yet another stunning bowling display and neat fielding, SRH restricted KKR to a modest 138/8, and they struggled in their reply before skipper Kane Williamson's half century in a 59-run stand with Shakib Al-Hasan sealed a five-wicket win. "The wicket (at Eden Gardens) was a bit double-paced. During bowling only it was apparent. Initial start was good but lost a few wickets," Saha said.
It was their third win from as many matches as SRH maintained their top spot in the table. "Our target is to go match by match, and we are looking in that direction only. I've been given a new role to open and asked to play with freedom. I'm trying that only. Overall it was a complete team performance, we did well in batting and bowling," he said.