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‘My wife badly wants me to play in the World Cup’: Saha not giving up ODI hopes just yet

With MS Dhoni still going strong, Saha said the call lies with the selectors.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni might be firmly occupying the wicketkeeper’s slot in ODIs but India’s Test glovesman Wriddhiman Saha today said he has not given up on his World Cup dreams and is pushing hard to play in the 2019 quadrennial event.

Saha said, in fact, it’s his wife Romi who wishes to see him play in the World Cup.

“My wife badly wants me to play in the World Cup. She insists that I must push harder to achieve that. I am also trying, but ultimately the decision lies with the selectors,” Saha, who will turn 33 next month, said.

Fresh from their 9-0 clean-sweep over Sri Lanka, India will take on Australia in a five-ODI, three T20Is limited overs series beginning in Chennai on September 17 and Saha feels Virat Kohli and Co will be tough to beat at home.

“Beating India in India will always be tough. Australia has done well last time but I will put India ahead,” Saha, who is currently enjoying a break, said at a promotional event in Kolkata, according to PTI.

“India’s bench strength is very strong. The team is preparing for the 2019 World Cup. That’s why the rotation of players is happening. India has been performing well with all sets of players which is a good sign. Axar (Patel), (Yuzvendra) Chahal and Kuldeep (Yadav) playing in place of (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja. They are being prepared to strengthen the bench. If the need be, they can chip in,” he added.

Saha played down all compliments showered on him, including Sourav Ganguly’s reported opinion that the Bengal stumper could replace Dhoni in limited overs cricket in future.

“My preparation is always aimed at bettering my performance. The rest depends on the selection committee. I don’t perform to just play ODIs,” said Saha, who is not a regular in ODIs with just nine appearances to his name.

“Those who are saying (good things about my keeping) know better. Whatever I have learnt, I am trying to execute,” he said.

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