IPL 2018: We have replacements to fill Warner's void,says Wriddhiman Saha

[caption id="attachment_64710" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Wriddhiman Saha meet the press at Calcutta Sports Journalists Club (7) Mohammed Shami in Kolkata today. Image Source: XtraTime[/caption]

Kolkata: Indian cricket team’s star wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha will play for Sunrisers Hyderabad in this year’s Indian Premier League. Ahead of that he feels that, their squad has enough big players who can replace David Warner as captain if the franchise asks him to step down as captain.

According to Australian media, dashing southpaw, 31-year old David Warner is the central character in the ball tampering scandal.

Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor and former Indian batting great VVS Laxman has said that he will wait for Cricket Australia’s statement before commenting on his participation in the T20 tournament.

"The decision is yet to be taken so I am assuming the team is planning for the season keeping him in mind.

"In hindsight, if he is not there the team is strong enough to replace him," Saha told reporters at the Calcutta Sports Journalists' Club days before leaving for Hyderabad to join the camp.

"If Warner is there, it will be great obviously. He has batted superbly for SRH in the last few years and as captain has done well too.

"But I feel, we have replacements to fill his void. It may not be 100 percent as he is a quality player, but we can try and fill the gap," said Saha who was roped in by SRH for Rs 5 crore in the player auction earlier this year.

Saha said if could be a problem initially since the team is built around the skipper but SRH have players to cope with it.

"The team was decided based on the captain. In that way, there can be an initial impact. But we have a strong reserve bench and I don't think it will be much of a problem."

Like Harbhajan Singh, who was vocal in a tweet about the quantum of punishment the ICC meted out to Smith and Cameron Bancroft, feeling aggrieved at both being let off to easily, Saha said, rules should be the same for everyone.

"They all represent the country and are brand ambassadors of the game. If they do something that is not suitable, I don't think that does the sport any good. The rule should be same for everyone. Everyone should be treated the same way and not on case to case basis," Saha said.

On Smith admitting to playing foul later, Saha said, "He might have thought that if he admitted to tampering with the ball, the punishment would be lessened. Now it is for the authorities to decide. Let's see what happens."

Saha did not want to point fingers as Smith and Warner solely, saying it was the entire team which played against the spirit of the game.

"It's not about the the two only. The entire team should be held responsible. It's about playing clean cricket and not trying to tamper with the ball and then get a batsman out."

India opener Shikhar Dhawan could be made captain of SRH if Warner is removed. Asked if that would help Saha as both play for India regularly, the 33-year old stumper said, "Nothing like that. The ultimate goal is to win. We have to abide by team management's decision."

Meanwhile, Saha said SRH have a solid middle order with the likes of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and Deepak Hooda in their ranks and he is ready to bat anywhere for his franchise.

Saha added that he does not plan to follow skipper Virat Kohli in playing County cricket ahead of the all-important England series.

"I don't have any such plans. England is a big tour no doubt but even if I get an offer to play County Cricket, I would prefer spending time with my family."

"On wicket-keeping in English conditions, he added, "When the bowler bowls, there is lateral movement after the ball has crossed the batsman. The ball wobbles. Even if the batsman has edged the ball, it wobbles which is very challenging."

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