Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha on Tuesday attributed his attacking Irani Cup innings for Rest of India against Gujarat to tips from Virender Sehwag and said that the former India opener had advised him to play lofted shots to put pressure on the opposition. "Most of the shots that I played in the innings were lofted. Actually, it was Sehwag who once told me that if I can hit a couple of boundaries early in my innings (with lofted strokes), it automatically eases the pressure and also can get the bowlers rattled," Saha said.
"So, all I was thinking was to go after the bowlers with lofted strokes," Saha said after hitting 203 off 272 balls laced with 26 fours and six sixes," Saha told a website.
He had led Rest of India to a fine victory against the Ranji Trophy champions Gujarat by playing an unbeaten knock of 203 and became the first stumper to score a double-ton in the Irani Cup final for the Rest Of India.
"He (Sehwag) suggested to me that I should not curb my natural stroke-play. If a ball is there to be hit, I should go after it," Saha said.
He had a tough time in the last couple of months as he had to miss a couple of Tests against England owing to injury.
Parthiv Patel took his place in the India team and made a good case for himself scoring 195 runs in four innings at an average of 65.00. He notched up two half-centuries in that period.
But Saha has worked hard with his fitness at National Cricket Academy (NCA), also receiving a message from India coach Anil Kumble on Monday wherein he was suggested that Saha finishes off the game for his team.
"He (Kumble) sent me a text message last night reminding me that the job is not yet over. He urged me to finish the match. I am happy that I was able to do so," Saha revealed.
This was Saha's first double-hundred in any first-class match.
"I have not given a thought to scoring a double-century, until (Cheteshwar) Pujara came and told me. The idea only came when I reached 180 runs. His (Pujara's) presence at the other end made my job a lot easier. I am grateful to him for helping me reach the milestone," Saha said.
(With inputs from IANS)