Saha sees Rich-a utility in Ghosh

Kaushiik Paul
New Update
Saha sees Rich-a utility in Ghosh

Wriddhiman Saha (L) and Richa Ghosh. © Getty Images

Making an international debut against an Australian side that possesses the likes of Megan Schutt and Tayla Vlaeminck in their ranks is never easy and that too in a high-voltage tri-series final on Wednesday (February 12). Although Richa Ghosh’s innings was short, but the time she spent in the middle handling some of the best in the world was commendable. And according to India men’s wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, 16-year-old Richa is a utility player who can bat, bowl as well as keep wickets.

“Actually in Siliguri, Richa used to practice in a club different from mine, but I have seen Richa during her Bengal sessions," said Saha to Women's CricZone. "She is a utility player I would say, who can bat, bowl and keep wickets as well. She plays her shots clean and I think this format (T20) suits her style. She looked confident playing in her first during her stay at the crease and I think the more opportunity she gets the more she will mature."

Known as a fearless attacking player, Richa came into bat at No.3 after the departure of Shafali Verma, a place usually slotted for another teenager Jemimah Rodrigues. She took her time to settle in making just five runs in fourteen balls at one time, but the way she cut seamer Nicola Carey towards third man going on back foot for a couple of boundaries, made everyone sit and take notice. Richa however, departed for 17 giving Annabel Sutherland her maiden international scalp. India then lost the match by 11 runs.  

publive-image Richa Ghosh bats during the T20 tri-series final between Australia and India at Junction Oval in Melbourne. © Getty Images

Richa, who made it to the Indian squad on the basis of her outings in the Senior T20 Trophy and the T20 Challenger Trophy performances, stays in constant touch with the ‘Superman Saha’ and often talks about how to improve her game.

“She texts me sometimes seeking advice about her game, what to do and what not to do and I help her every time. It’s a big thing that she has played directly in the final,” revealed Saha, who also hails from Siliguri, a north-eastern city of West Bengal.  

“Obviously it’s great. For someone representing India at the international level, definitely she is good as an individual. It feels nice when someone from Bengal represents the country, Siliguri comes secondary.”

Asked about what are India’s chances going into the Women’s T20 World Cup later this month, Saha played it in an optimistic way.

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“This is such a format where a game can change within two to three overs. It is very difficult to predict something in the T20s," said Saha, who is touted to be the best wicketkeeper in the world. "Australia, India, England, South Africa, and West Indies are some of the teams which are performing consistently at this level. If the players perform to their potential then definitely India will come out good,” he added.

Richa’s father Manabendra, a cricketer-turned umpire at the club level, is happy about her daughter’s debut but wants her to finish off the game whenever she steps on to the field.

“Words can’t describe how I feel today, but she has to do the finisher’s job because it’s the results that matter. She always had that leadership attitude in her, to win games for her team,” said Manabendra.