Akshat Reddy is already being tipped as the next best bet from the city

For Produturi Akshat Reddy, the Ranji Trophy 2011-12 season could not have been more productive — he finished with an impressive 675 runs from seven games including four centuries. Known for his flamboyance, Akshat made minor adjustments, by controlling his stroke play at the beginning of his innings to be a much better player. He is already being tipped as the next best bet from the City to make it big in the higher grades of cricket.

“I am happy that I performed well when the team qualified for the Elite Group. That was a major plus for us. And personally, I am pleased with the way I batted through,” says the Information Technology student of TKRR College of Engineering.

The fact that opener Akshat Reddy was the cynosure of all eyes with his willow was itself a refreshing change in Hyderabad cricket.

In a way he seemed to have provided the answer to the search for a reliable opening batsman.

“I enjoy facing the new ball. I always try to play the bowling on merit,” says the 20-year-old Akshat whose first coach was Brahmam of BDL.

He is now being trained by Manohar Reddy at Hindi Mahavidyalaya Academy.

With father P. N. Reddy providing him all the support things were easy at the school and college level. “He is a great source of inspiration and but for him I would not have been able to play cricket,” says the proud son about his father.

Akshat Reddy showed a lot of promise from his early days, scoring 359 runs at an average of 51 from five matches in the Cooch Behar Trophy and 316 runs from an equal number of games in the CK Nayudu under-22 matches in 2008-09. A performance which helped him play for India in the World Cup (under-19) in New Zealand where he scored two and 94 not out in the two matches he played.

Not surprisingly, Akshat picks his century against Goa in Ranji league phase, which Hyderabad won outright to march into the knock-out stage, as his best innings. “I was happy because that century came under trying conditions where the bowlers dominated,” he recalls.

What are his goals now? ‘I just want to prove a point or two every time I am given a chance,” says Akshat, who is right now preparing for the KS Subbaiah Pillai Trophy limited overs tournament. “I don't want to talk big; prefer to take it match by match,” says the gifted batsman who admired India star Rahul Dravid for his sincerity and dedication to the game. Having got off to a brilliant start in Ranji this season, the onus is on Akshat to continue the good work.

Keywords: Ranji Trophy