Hard work pays. Three young cricketers from this part of the region have reaped rich rewards for the years of sweat on the ground.

Of the three, one has made it to the India under-23 squad. And, that is left-arm spinner R. Aushik Srinivas of Coimbatore. The 21-year-old final year engineering student of SRM University was quite contented having secured a berth in the squad. “It has come at the right time. It feels good to be surrounded by talented cricketers. You can measure your strengths accordingly and further climb up the ladder,” said Aushik, who is testing his skills in the Bangalore camp.

He said it’s not going to be easy either. “Everything you do will be weighed with the rest of the bunch. As a bowler, I will have to deliver.”

How about pressure cooker situation? “Pressure is everywhere. You cannot escape from it, instead learn how to handle it,” he said.

Aushik pointed out that most of the campers have good IPL experience. “I am taking their knowledge and reacting to the situation.”

Talking about his climb to the top, he said it has been steady. “I prefer it this way. I don’t want it to be huge and then fall thud to the ground.”

Currently, there are 27 boys in the camp of which two are from Tamil Nadu - Aushik and Baba Aparjith. The duo is working in tandem to make a splash in the big stage.

South-Zone stars

N. Jagadeesan and C. Hari Nishanth from PSG College of Arts and Science have made it to the South Zone under-19 squad for the ongoing inter-zonal under-19 one-day matches for the Col. Hemu Adhikari Trophy in Mysore.

The former is a right-hand top order batsman and wicketkeeper and, the latter is a left-hand opener. The duo has honed their skills playing for their club (Sri Ramakrishna Mills Sports Club) and their State.

A.G. Gurusamy, who has mentored these boys, was obviously proud of their achievements. “My wish and prayer is that all three of them represent the India senior squad one day.”

“Aushik is a good listener. He works very hard. The call has definitely not come late for him. I will simply say he has got some more experience now. He has played first class cricket for the past four years. Also, he has got age on his side. All he has got to do now is to improve upon his all-round skills, preferably in batting. I heard he is working on it, but he is certainly a good Test match product,” said Mr. Gurusamy.

Talking about Jagadeesan and Nishanth, he said both could play all types of cricket. “They have done well playing for the State under-19 squad. Nishanth is a very pleasing left-hander. Jagadeesan is another top product who can play to the situation.”

The duo was delighted to have made it to the higher level. “It’s going to be an awesome experience for us. We will give it our best shot.”

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