The first half of TATA IPL 2023 is done and we’re off to a terrific start, winning five of our seven matches. A win on Saturday at Eden Gardens could take us to the top spot in the table. In the reverse fixture, KKR emerged victorious in a thrilling contest and our Titans will be eager to square things up on Saturday. 

Ahead of this contest, our in-house Bengali, Wriddhiman Saha, opened up about his association with the city. 

“Kolkata is my home and I have played a lot here. But now I’m playing for Gujarat Titans and I’m here as an away player. We will work hard to get a win and we have to continue the momentum created in the last two matches,” Saha said addressing the press. 

Hailed as one of the finest keepers India ever produced, Saha continues to emphasise that he is a keeper first. “I’ve always been a keeper first, then a batter. I believe in the same thing even today. I think it’s better for the team if I focus on my keeping first, then my batting.”

Talking about the role of a keeper in the shortest format, Saha said, “In T20 cricket, you don’t get involved on the field much as a keeper, maybe 10-12 deliveries. But it is important to keep up with the concentration. Every keeper has a different strategy, like Dhoni bhai uses his legs often to stop the ball. I prepare accordingly for the shorter formats.” 

In both the matches Gujarat Titans lost this season, we went all the way down to the final over and the teams were separated by the barest of margins. However, Saha says that they as a team try to work together to ensure they get better after every match. 

“We have discussions regularly after every match, as to where we can do better. If any individual has a bad game, we try to boost his confidence. In TATA IPL, matches change within a span of overs. Anybody can defeat anyone and we have to be prepared for every match with the same intensity,” Saha explained.  

TATA IPL 2023 has been a high-scoring affair and we have surpassed the mark two times as well. Saha feels that Impact Player rule gives teams that extra cushion to bat freely. 

“If you’re making 50-60 in the powerplay overs, your chances of scoring 200+ increases. If you don’t get a good start, you have to bat very aggressively in the middle overs. But ideally, it’s the start that matters because it automatically gives the momentum. Every team has that cushion to bat aggressively because of the Impact Player rule. It is not possible to score 200 every match but it does help if the pitch is good,” Saha said.  

Saha also added that his goal is to provide a good start to the team and he does not aspire for individual achievements. 

“No matter what my personal score is, I am satisfied as long as I give my team a good start. It doesn't matter if I score a 50 or something, what matters to me is the sort of start I am giving to my team and the platform I am setting for the team to go on and get a big score. I won't be happy if I score a century and the team loses the game,” Saha explained. 

Rinku Singh’s unbelievable finish denied what seemed like a comfortable win for us the last time we played the Knight Riders. However, Saha added that they did not worry too much about the result. 

“Those matches come once in a lifetime. It was Rinku's day. We did not worry much after the defeat, we reviewed, assessed, learned from our mistakes and shifted our focus to the next game!,” Saha said.

Talking about the KKR spinners, who have been bowling well this season, Saha added, “We plan to stick to our strengths and carry a similar strategy from the last game. It's not all about the spinners though, pacers are also there. It's a 20 over game at the end of the day and everyone needs to chip in. Our plan will be to counter their threat with spin and bag the 2 points.”

The Gujarat Titans will be in action on Saturday against the Knight Riders.