Candid and confident

Arun Venugopal
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YOUNG LIKE US Cricketer Malolan Rangarajan wants to focus on the process not results. Arun Venugopal

Malolan Rangarajan is, in many ways, a journalist's delight. His responses are coherent, witty, laced with nonchalance, and even a shade of innocence. The off-spinner, placed third on the list of wicket-takers at the end of the first phase of the Chennai first division league this season, made rapid strides in competitive cricket even as a young boy.

 Malolan found himself in the under-14 State team at the age of 12, a year after he took to the game. “It doesn't really hit you when you are very young. Only when you are 17 or 18, do you realise the importance of such things.”

Being a huge fan of Sachin, all that Malolan wanted to do, initially, was just bat! “It was my coach N.P. Balaji who thought I would make a good off-spinner.”  He continued to rise through the ranks before establishing himself as a regular in the first division league.

However, the 22-year-old's debut for Tamil Nadu in a KSCA tournament two years ago didn't go according to plan. “With so much competition, you are supposed to make the best use of opportunities. I didn't do that,” he says candidly

What has he done differently? “To be frank, I always begin a season thinking about my selection to the State team. But, then I realised there was more focus on the result than the process. So, I am just trying to go step-by-step and enjoy the game. Technically, I have started to come more side-on.” says Malolan who represents Young Stars Cricket Club.

Currently pursuing his MBA from SRM University, Malolan is grateful for his parents' support. Coming from a family that places a lot of premium on academic excellence, Malolan thinks he is the “black sheep”.

 He is puzzled when asked if he had to make sacrifices for cricket. “I love cricket and I am doing what I love. I wouldn't call it a sacrifice,” he concludes.