I was 9 years old when I first picked up a cricket bat. In no time I was head over heels over the game. Seeing my love and dedication for the sport my parents enrolled me in a cricket camp and arranged for my coaching. I started playing cricket for the school team.
The turning point of my life was under 14 states selection where I was wicket keeping and dived in full length to catch the ball. That caught eyes of the selectors and they complimented me on my anticipation and reflex. I was enjoying being out there; in fact I wanted every ball to come to me.
I am a left handed batsman. My coach encouraged and convinced me to focus on my batting. That year I played for Karnataka team under 16 and then went on to play under 19.
The Afghanistan National team was in India for a practice tournament. I scored 45 odd runs against them. That was a life changing game for me. I needed that breakthrough which everyone needs and that’s how I made my Twenty20 debut for Karnataka team in 2018-19 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and finished as leading run scorer 234 against Punjab Cooch Behar Trophy.
I practice cricket for 8-9 hours a day while continuing my studies. My father always says- we don’t value things if it comes easy, so work hard to get them, then they’re precious. And I believe the same. At the end of the day you have to work hard to achieve your goal.
My father loves cricket but my mother gets nervous. She hasn’t watched me play cricket, not even one game. Even when I made my debut my entire state was watching it but she didn’t watch the game. She knows the timing of T20 matches as soon as the match ends she calls my dad and asks for the score. She just waits for the end result. My goal is to make her watch at least one of my games.
I have perfected my craft in the grind of domestic circuit, fought it out stumbled and got back up for new innings.
I am a big Saurav Ganguly fan and admire Mayank Agarwal’s shot selection and calmness. My dream is to wear the blue colour of team India one day.
Interviewed and written by – Raavya Sarda