CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu star batsman B Aparajith’s rise in domestic cricket has been steady. Since he played a vital role in India’s Under-19 World Cup triumph in Australia, he has been one of the most promising youngsters from the south.
After establishing himself in the South Zone team last season, he played the Irani Trophy and was part of the India A team in the series against West Indies ‘A’.
On Wednesday, the national selectors named him in the India ‘A’ squad that is touring Australia for two four-day games against Australia ‘A’. “I am thrilled to be part of the ‘A’ squad. I have played for India ‘A’ before, but this is the first time I will be touring abroad with our ‘A’ side,” Aparajith told TNIE from Bangalore, where he is training at the NCA.
Many believe that an Australian tour is a great learning experience. “Australia is different from other countries. But I have toured Australia twice with the India U-19 team, first for a quadrangular series and then for the U-19 World Cup, which we won. I guess those experiences will come in handy this time around,” added Aparajith.
Tamil Nadu coach WV Raman is all praise for his ward, but at the same time cautions that he should not get carried away. “It is a wonderful opportunity for Aparajith to display his wares. It is the right platform and his creditable shows in the Duleep Trophy and Ranji last season, where he made some gritty knocks, prompted the selectors to pick him,” said Raman.
“I will also caution that although India A sides are picked with future in mind, I would like Aparajith to not think about his past performances or worry too much about the future. He needs to live in the present, take every match as a challenge and come out rich with the experience. In other words, I would be happy if he enjoys the tour and plays without any pressure,’’ added Raman.
Aparajith too agrees with Raman, and states that he primarily wants to enjoy the tour and put up good scores. “Like what Raman sir said, I too believe in enjoying the game and taking things as they come,’’ said Aparajith.
The youngster said he is ready to bat anywhere in the order. “Against West Indies ‘A’, I opened and scored some runs. I do not know how it is going to be in Australia. It is up to the team management. I am mentally prepared to open or bat at any position the team wants me to,’’ said Aparajith.
He is also keen on sharpening his bowling skills. “I am aware that one has to be two-dimensional. I am working on my bowling and I am confident that with the passage of time I will be a lot more penetrative bowler.’’