Kolkata : Wriddhiman Saha continues to develop in stature as a batsman. In the West Indies, he contributed with a couple of 40s in the first two Tests and followed it with a century in the third. If that isn’t convincing enough, on Saturday, on his home ground of the Eden Gardens, Saha’s knack of providing vital runs down the order got India a total of 316 in the first innings, a score that looked daunting considering they were seven down for 239 at stumps on Day 1.
India scored 77 runs in 19.5 overs, their quickest of the match. Off those, Saha scored 40 of them. His maiden half-century on home soil is perhaps his most crucial in terms of context of the game. It has put India in a position New Zealand weren’t expecting. Along with Ravindra Jadeja, Saha saw off the early period, and then with Shami launched a counter-attack leaving New Zealand frustrated. He remained not out on 54 when Trent Boult picked up the final Indian wicket. But by then India had comfortably marched to a safe zone.
Safe, as it turned out, because for the remaining half an hour, India picked up both New Zealand openers to further cement their authority in the game. New Zealand are 21/2 at lunch, a good 295 runs short and without their best batsman Kane Williamson.