Cricket

Basant Mohanty - 100 and going strong

Odisha’s Basant Mohanty

Odisha’s Basant Mohanty   | Photo Credit: Biswanjan Rout

Playing his 100th First Class match and closing in on his 400th wicket, 33-year-old Basant Mohanty looks back at his 13-year-old journey as a disciplined servant of Odisha cricket.

Basant has played with two generations of players and has been the most consistent performer for Odisha over a decade.

Helping hand

“It has been a fun-filled journey. My debut was against Bengal (in Siliguri) and my 100th match is against the same side.

“I started with Debu bhai (Debasis) and learnt a lot from him. Now there are youngsters like Rajesh Mohanty, Debabrata Pradhan and Preet Chohan. I can’t be like Debu bhai. If I can be 10 per cent like him it will be great,” Basant told The Hindu here on Friday.

“My debut was memorable - Odisha beat Bengal. For 11 years I played in Group A and B. We were relegated to Group C for two seasons. So helping the team get back to Group B was special.”

In his 100th outing, Basant - who tallied 384 wickets before this match - picked up four wickets.

Basant reflected on his eventful career. “I was a quicker bowler to start with. I became a swing bowler after watching Debu bhai. But, a hand injury in an accident, slowed me down.

“Debu bhai always backed me. He used to give 15-17 runs and take two wickets in 20 overs and I used to take five wickets for 70 in 15 overs. He used to keep it tight and I used to reap the benefits. Now, I am trying to dry up the runs and let others take wickets,” he said.

Regret

Basant, who once made it into the India-A limited-overs squad, has one regret, though. “If I had got a chance in the four-day matches, I could have expressed myself better. Having said that, when you mature, you realise your mistakes. I should have worked more on my fitness.”

Basant is not finished yet. “I still enjoy the game. Let’s see how long I can continue,” he signed off.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:38:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/basant-mohanty-100-and-going-strong/article30884918.ece

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