Wriddhiman Saha, the 37-year-old Indian wicketkeeper and batter was recently dropped by the selection committee from the upcoming home Test series against Sri Lanka. Saha, whose Indian career was interrupted recently, revealed to the media that coach Rahul Dravid asked him to consider his retirement as he won’t be considered for selection further in the upcoming matches. The conversation happened last month in private after the South African series.
Rahul Dravid, India’s head coach is not “hurt” by the statement of Wriddhiman Saha revealing the “difficult” conversation that the two had about Saha’s future as he firmly believes that the veteran keeper-batter “deserved clarity and honesty” which was delivered to him.
Dravid said that his intention behind talking to Saha was to provide him with a clear picture of where he stands and he does not regret saying it. He also added that he always has these conversations with the players and he does not expect them to always agree to his opinions about them. He said that his approach is to be upfront and have direct conversations with the players rather than brushing difficult conversations under the carpet.
Dravid said that he believes in having a discussion with the players before the selection of the playing XI for every match. He said:
“I always believe in having those conversations before every playing XI is picked and be open to questions such as why they are not playing. It’s natural for players to get upset and feel hurt.”
On Wriddhiman’s comment on Dravid, the coach replied after the match on Sunday when India won against West Indies in the ongoing T20 series. Dravid said that:
“I’m actually not hurt at all. I have deep respect for Wriddhi and his achievements and his contribution to Indian cricket. My conversation came from that place. I think he deserved honesty and clarity.”
Rahul Dravid said that his intention behind the private discussion with Saha was to make sure Saha has a clear picture of where he stands and he does not regret it. He also explained the reason why he gave Saha such a suggestion. He said that because he thinks the Bengal man wouldn’t have got chances going forward as the young wicketkeeper, Rishabh Pant has already established himself as the new No 1. Dravid said:
“I was just trying to convey that with RP (Pant) having established himself as our No 1 wicketkeeper-batsman, the idea was to say that we are looking to groom a younger wicketkeeper (Kona Bharat), This doesn’t change my feelings or respect for Wriddhi.”
Dravid also added that the easiest thing for him would be not having these conversations and not speaking to players about it but that’s not something he intends to do. He hopes that someday they will respect the fact that he was upfront and had these conversations.
Wriddhiman Saha has played 40 tests for India, he also pulled out of the ongoing Ranji Trophy after being dropped from the Test series.
Rahul Dravid, the former Indian National cricket team captain, and cricketer is currently serving as the head coach of the National team.