Young spinner Ajith Ram excited for opportunities in TNPL

Since there are not many games before the TNPL, most players use the Senior Division league to gain match practise.
Ajith Ram
Ajith Ram(Photo | Express)

CHENNAI : Success stories of cricketers inevitably finds a mention of the Ranji Trophy, a stepping stone for many of them. With every season, new talents come to the fore. And among the star performers for Tamil Nadu in this season’s Ranji Trophy was left-arm spinner Ajith Ram. He played a perfect foil to skipper Sai Kishore and the duo together engineered many wins for the state team. Although Tamil Nadu could not make it to the final, the experience Ajith gained in this season should come in handy for him in the Tamil Nadu Premier League.

With the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction to be held towards the end of the year, the TNPL 2024, which begins in July, becomes important for players from Tamil Nadu. A good performance in the league might help fetch them a handsome contract in the IPL.

After the Ranji Trophy, Ajith played in the Senior Division league of the TNCA for Globe Trotters. His team narrowly missed the chance to go into the semifinals of the league. “I am bowling well. I’m in good rhythm right now and eagerly looking forward to playing in the TNPL. As far as the TNCA league is concerned, we regret not qualifying for the semifinals of the Senior Division league. We, as a team, had made mistakes which ended up costing us in a few games,” says Ajith.

Since there are not many games before the TNPL, most players use the Senior Division league to gain match practise. “For some, it may help, but for me, I don’t think it helped a lot with TNPL preparations because the games were multi-day. I worked on my overall bowling and fitness but did not undergo any bowling drills suited for the shortest format,” he says.

Crediting Sai Kishore for being a good support in the Ranji matches, the 25-year-old adds, “I had a fruitful Ranji season. It was a good learning experience. We had a nice bowling attack. I will be looking forward to carrying the confidence into the TNPL.”

Ajith will represent Idream Tiruppur Tamizhans in the TNPL and the team has the likes of Sai Kishore, T Natarajan and Vijay Shankar in its ranks. “Our team has a good mixture of experience and youth in the ranks. The team looks good and I am looking forward to doing well. We have an all-round side and our key batters will be Vijay Shankar, Tushar, and Anirudh. As far as bowling is concerned, we have our ace spinner Sai Kishore, Natarajan, myself and Bhuvaneshwaran who did well last year,” he adds.

TNPL is played mostly in the districts where the wickets and conditions are different from Chennai. Some players take time to adjust from red-ball to white ball cricket. “I’m ready to bowl either in power play or middle overs. I can adapt and improvise which is how I think one can grow as a spinner. I’m also working on a few variations (keeping the format in mind) and I hope it comes out well,” he shares.

Similar to IPL where you have the likes of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell who are game changers, in TNPL too one requires multi-dimensional players who change the course of a match single-handedly. “I think Vijay Shankar, Sai Kishore, and Mohammad Ali would be the game changers this year for our side,” he adds.

During the TNPL, the talent scouts of the various IPL teams will watch the players in action and Ajith wants to make the most of his chances. “I’m looking forward to working on my batting and I hope I can start contributing to the team. I am aware that TNPL has always been a very important tournament and a great platform to express one’s talent. I hope I can do well this year and express myself,” Ajith signs off.

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