Kolkata: Former opener Virender Sehwag's advice helped India wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha become the first stumper to score a double ton in the Irani Cup final for Rest Of India (ROI), the Bengal player said on Tuesday.
Saha's exploits helped ROI script a win against Ranji Trophy champions Gujarat, led by his rival for the national wicketkeeper's job Parthiv Patel.
Saha scored an unbeaten 203 and his 316-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara (116 not out) helped Rest of India win in Mumbai on Tuesday. Rest of India won by six wickets even after Gujarat took a first innings lead.
"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.
"He (Sehwag) suggested that I should not curb my natural stroke play. If a ball is there to be hit, I should go after it," Saha said.
Wridhiman had a tough time in the last couple of months as he had to miss a couple of Tests against England owing to injury.
But Saha has worked hard with his fitness at National Cricket Academy (NCA), also receiving a message from India coach Anil Kumble wherein he was suggested to finish 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 it a thought about scoring a double century, until Pujara came and told me. The idea only came when I reached 180 runs. His (Pujara) presence at the other end made my job a lot easier. I am grateful to him for helping me reach the milestone,” he said.
India next play Australia in four highly-anticipated Tests starting next month.