Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour heaped praise over wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha for his gritty knock against New Zealand in the second innings.
Saha scored an unbeaten 61 as he and Shreyas Iyer helped the Indian ship from sinking. India were 51 for five wickets down in the first session before this partnership helped them to restore the lead.
India declared at 234 for seven with Saha and all-rounder Axar Patel (28*) remained not out in the innings to set New Zealand a target of 284.
Wriddhiman Saha played an extremely important knock: Vikram Rathour
Rathour said Saha played an extremely important knock for the team with a stiff neck and also called him an ideal team man.
“He had a really, really stiff neck and knowing Saha, who is an ideal team man, he is going to do whatever is required,” Rathour said in the press conference after Day 4.
“He would do the tough things for the team and he played an extremely important knock at the stage the team was at that point.
“That is what we always expect from Wriddhi. He has always been that kind of a person, whom we can count on and today he showed why,” he added.
Wriddhiman Saha has the role of second-choice wicketkeeper: Vikram Rathour
Saha got to play in the team as Rishabh Pant was rested by the Indian selectors. Rathour admitted that Saha is their second-choice wicket-keeper as Pant has some special batting powers.
“As far as Wriddhi is concerned, unfortunately for him, we have an extremely special player Rishabh, who is number one keeper for us and has done extremely well in the past few years,” Rathour said.
“That’s the role (No. 2) Wriddhi has at the moment that we need him when Pant is not available,” he added.
New Zealand need 280 runs more to win the first Test with nine wickets in hand. Tom Latham (2*) is batting with William Somerville batting with him as the Nightwatchman.