Wriddhiman Saha catch video - 2 one-handed blinders, 96.9% success rate - Why he is the best wicket-keeper

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times

Author 2019-10-13 15:31:47


Wriddhiman Saha might not have got an opportunity to bat yet in the ongoing India vs South Africa second Test match in Pune but that hasn’t stopped him from leaving a mark on this game. Saha has been simply outstanding behind the stumps. After taking a brilliant diving catch on the third days’ play, Saha took an even better one on the 4th day morning diving down the leg side. On both occasions the bowler was Umesh Yadav and the batsman was Theunis de Bruyn.

While on Day 3, de Bruyn was guilty of flashing to a delivery outside off stump, the South African No.3 was a tad unlucky 2nd innings as his glance on Day 4 found Saha’s gloves. But on both occasions – even more so the second time around – the Indian stumper was up to the mark.

It was a not the best of the deliveries that Umesh Yadav bowled in this match. The ball pitched around leg stumps and went further down the leg side with the angle. De Bruyn got a tickle but Saha flew towards his left to grab a one-handed stunner.

Following on, South Africa were reduced to 21 for 2 in 5.4 overs. Ishant had given India an early breakthrough by removing opener Aiden Markram for a pair.

The 34-year-old India wicket-keeper took another catch off R Ashwin’s bowling to dismiss South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. South Africa reached 74 for four wickets at lunch after the India enforced the follow-on at the start of the fourth day having taken a first innings lead of 326 runs.

Stats prove Saha is the best

Saha proved India’s captain Virat Kohli’s words of being described as ‘word’s best ‘keeper’ right with his performance in this Test match. Before the start of the series, India captain Virat Kohli had justified their decision to pick Saha over Pant by saying that Saha is the best wicket keeper in the world and he was always going to get his place back in the side.

Apart from his brilliant catches and super technique against the spinning deliveries of R Ashwin and R Jadeja, Saha also has the backing of stats to show that he is indeed the best in the business behind the stumps.

According to a Cricvizz analysis, in the last three years, his catch efficiency facing pace bowlers is 96.9% - the highest of all keepers to have taken 10+ catches since 2017.

The second in the list is Sri Lanka’s Nirsohan Dickwella with a success rate of 95.5% Followed by England’s Jonny Bairstow (95.2%).

Rishabh Pant, on the other hand, has a success rate of 91.6%. Only two keepers in the world have a poorer success rate of grabbing catches than him – Bangladesh’s Liton Das and West Indies Shane Dowrich.


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