With 10 days left for the start of the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League, clouds hover over David Warner's participation after his alleged involvement in the ball-tampering row in the Test against South Africa.
Smith, Warner and Bancroft has been asked to return to Australia as they await the final decision of the quantum of their punishment for the error.
Meanwhile, Wriddhiman Saha who was roped in by Sunrisers Hyderabad in this year's auction has said that they have enough bench strength to counter David Warner's absence if he is ruled out from participating in the tournament.
It is pertinent here to say that, Steve Smith stepped down from Rajasthan Royal's captaincy after the investigation regarding the case began. Ajinkya Rahane will now lead the franchise as Warner and Smith both may miss the season due to their infringement.
“To the best of my knowledge there hasn’t been a decision on this yet but if he isn’t playing, we can replace him,” said Saha speaking at a media conference organized by the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club (CSJC) here on Tuesday.
“And yes, it would be a setback initially if the captain is not around because a team is built with certain plans around the skipper but I think, we will be able to get around it,” he said, referring to the possibility of Sunrisers Hyderabad, who bought Saha for Rs 5 crore this term, missing Warner because of the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa.
“It is difficult to believe that this was done by one or two people without the rest knowing about it,” he said. That being the case, Saha felt punishment too should be meted out evenly. “I think it is unfair that someone would be punished more than others,” he said.
Speaking more about the quality of the team Saha praised the team's bowling attack. “As a team we would back ourselves to defend a low score. Our bowlers can win matches and that gives batsmen a lot of confidence,” he said.
SRH has the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan who were amongst the highest wicket-takers in their last season. Saha further said training with Rashid Khan for a week ahead of the start of the season will give him a fair idea of how to keep wickets against his bowling.
Saha recently hit a 20 ball 102 in a club cricket match in Kolkata. He said that he has no issues if people only relate him as a Test batsman.
“It is not really my fault that I have played nine One-day Internationals in over eight years. I try to do my best and then let the selectors decide,” he concluded.