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An impressive run

S. DINAKAR
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CRICKET B. Indrajith appears to have sealed a berth in the Tamil Nadu Ranji team, thanks to his determination, remarkable technique and attention-worthy scores

MOVING FORWARDB. IndrajithPhoto: S.S. Kumar
MOVING FORWARDB. IndrajithPhoto: S.S. Kumar

B. Indrajith is happening this season. He has made a truck-load of runs, and done so with methods that are pleasing.

Although these are early days in his journey, the signs are promising. He uses his feet, pierces the field and finds fence on both sides of the wicket. He is a stroke-maker yet the unhurried charm in his batting is hard to miss. Indrajith is secure in defence, particularly off his back-foot, which is a healthy attribute in a young batsman. His batsmanship stems from strong fundamentals.

Indeed, there is substance in this 19-year-old right-hander. He is calm and quiet, lets his bat do the talking. Focus and determination are his allies. Such was his run of scores in the all-India Buchi Babu tournament — he came up with innings of 40 not out, 91, 96 not out, 95, 165 (semi-finals) and 87 (finals) — that Indrajith appears to have sealed a berth in the Tamil Nadu Ranji middle-order for the upcoming season.

Asked about a quality which he believes has helped him the most so far, Indrajith replies, “I think I read the game and the situation well.”

The rise of Indrajith with his twin brother Aparajith is a fascinating story in itself. Indrajith is 26 minutes older than Aparajith and the two have played the game together from the age of four.

Guided by their father R.N. Baba, the two have climbed the rungs diligently. Says Indrajith, “He (Baba) was always very enthusiastic about our cricket. He advised us till we were around 16. Then, he encouraged us to be independent, and would chip in occasionally on the importance of a strong mind.”

Aparajith, a talented batsman who can send down useful off-spin, found recognition earlier by being a prominent member of the India under-19 team that triumphed in the World Cup Down Under in 2012, made the Tamil Nadu XI in Ranji Trophy, and was picked for India A.

Indrajith is emphatic there is no sibling rivalry. “When he made it before me, I was very happy for him. At the same time, he had set a benchmark for me and I was confident I would get there too. We keep motivating each other.” In fact, Indrajith recalls encouraging Aparajith during the under-19 World Cup in Australia. “He would call me up every day.” The two of them have worked on their fielding. Both are excellent all-round fielders. Aparajith has developed his off-spin and Indrajith wants to do the same with his leg-spin. “I think my leg-spin would provide my side another option and give me an edge as a cricketer.”

Indrajith, who turns out for Grand Slam in the TNCA first division league, says he often introspects. “I made 574 runs in six innings in the Buchi Babu tournament, but I should have scored more hundreds, gone on to bigger scores.”

This second year B.Com student from Guru Nanak College has three batting idols. “I admire Sachin Tendulkar for his ability, Rahul Dravid for his work ethics and Steve Waugh for his strength of mind.”

The batsman with dexterous wrists looks forward to the day he walks out for the Tamil Nadu Ranji side with Aparajith. “That would be a dream come true,” Indrajith exclaims.

S. DINAKAR

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