IPL 2022: I went unsold, no franchise believed in me; Hardik Pandya came and asked me to open: Wriddhiman Saha

The past 18 months have not been easy for Wriddhiman Saha† From India’s best test wicketkeeper, he lost his place to the mighty Rishabh Pant and was being trained by the administration by the start of this year.

His candor was addressed by an official of the Cricket Association of Bengal during the domestic season and to top it all off, he went unsold on Day 1 of the IPL mega auction.

Wriddhiman Saha gets chance by GT

Wriddhiman Saha. (Photo: IPL)

Just as things started to look miserable, Saha got another life lease when he was taken off by Gujarat Titans for ₹1.9 crore on the second day of the sale.

Saha’s fights, be that as it may, did not end there. He was not the best option wicketkeeper for GT. It was Australian Matthew Wade who initially did not play many games. But after the left-hander had no effect, GT skipper Hardik approached Pandya Saha and requested the veteran cricketer to open the fight with Shubman Gill.

That was just the open door Saha needed. After missing the first five league games, Saha scored 317 runs for GT in 11 games, including three half-centuries.

Hardik Pandya gave me a stage to prove myself: Wriddhiman Saha

Wriddhiman Saha
Wriddhiman Saha. (Photo: IPL)

After GT won the IPL in its first year, Saha Hardik praised Pandya for his comeback and said he can never “forget his contribution” to regain his confidence.

“Hardik showed faith in all those players that were released by the different franchises, in whom no one believed. I was unsold (on day 1 of the mega auction) and didn’t get a chance at the beginning. Then he came and told me to take the responsibility of an opener.

I got my confidence back. He gave me a stage to prove myself. Can never forget his contribution. I did my best to repay his faith. Basically everyone in the team has fulfilled their duties, that’s what you need to become a championship team.” Saha told the Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.

Hardik Pandya knows how to manage a side: Wriddhiman Saha

The 37-year-old said he has seen an ocean change in Hardik. In disclosing Hardik’s leadership qualities, Saha said that Hardik knew how to treat everyone with care. At least he never lost his cool when someone in the field made a mistake.

Hardik Pandya.  Photo IPL
Hardik Pandya. Photo IPL

“Hardik knows how to manage a side. A captain’s job is to keep in touch with everyone and understand their game, Hardik had no shortage of that. He has undergone a sea change. He used to be restless, but now he has completely changed. He never lost his cool on the pitch, always showed confidence in everyone.” added Saha.

Saha said his job was to give a great start as an opener he could give to the side in IPL.

Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill
Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill. (Photo: IPL)

“A captain will always be happy when the openers perform. Most importantly, he believed in me. Hardik always said that if we don’t get off to a good start in several games, the dugout will be under a lot of pressure. So my job was to get the team off to a good start,” he added.

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