CHENNAI: In the recent past, consistency has not been Andhra’s forte in the shorter format of the game. But this season, the Hanuma Vihari led side has been playing as a unit. On Friday, they beat Goa by one wicket and won their third match in a row in the Vijay Hazare tournament being played here at Chennai. Vihari credited his boys’ splendid show to teamwork. “We have had a good run so far. Each and every player has chipped in with useful performances,” he said.
One of the reasons for the success has been their ability to restrict the opponents to a gettable score. And left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt played a key role by excelling in the powerplay by being a miser. Being an out-station player, cricketers are under pressure, due to heavy expectations of various associations. But Bhargav says that the atmosphere in the Andhra dressing room is relaxed and that propels him to give his best. “It has been two years since I moved from Baroda to Andhra and I am enjoying the experience. There is absolutely no pressure on me,’’ said Bhargav. Hanuma Vihari says that his key spinner has the ability to adapt and flexibility to bowl anywhere.
“He can bowl on any wicket. I can safely hand over the new ball to him and use him later in short spells. He has excellent control and never leaks runs,” complimented Vihari. The genial spinner says that team’s cause comes first and he excels in the role allotted to him. “Many a time, my job will be to stifle and check the run flow at one end. Today I opened the bowling against Goa and gave only 5 runs in my first three overs. I enjoy playing the role allotted to me. I feel comfortable bowling anywhere be it powerplay, middle overs or in the end,” explained Bhargav.
“I am also comfortable bowling with both the red and white ball. I do not tinker much with my bowling across formats. When I am bowling with the white ball, I try to bowl with a good rhythm and on tighter lines,” he added. Does Kuldeep Yadav’s success make him change his style or incorporate newer things into his game? “I am an orthodox left-arm spinner and comfortable bowling the way I do. I have been trying to incorporate the chinaman into my bowling so as to add to the surprise value,” insisted Bhargav. The 27-year-old has been playing the TNCA senior division league this season for India Pistons. “It is nice to be playing the TNCA league for IP in the first division. The quality of the league is very good. Plus you get to bowl at various grounds where the nature of the wicket varies from one another. To bowl to quality players is a real challenge. It is a great exposure for me,” he signed off.