CHENNAI: B Sai Sudarshan who cracked two unbeaten centuries in the Vinoo Mankad Tournament this season for Tamil Nadu got selected for the India A team in the U-19 Challenger series that involves three teams from India and one from Nepal. Pradosh Ranjan Paul and Arjun Murthy have also been selected from Tamil Nadu. While Pradosh has already played for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy, this tournament is a big break for both Sai and Arjun.
“I am delighted to be part of the U-19 Challenger series. We played a game against India B. We will play the next game today against Nepal. There is a huge difference between state games and challenger games. The bowlers are very disciplined and the approach towards the game is also different,” said Sai.
The BCom student from Vivekananda College has made rapid strides in the game in the last few years. “In the Vijay Merchant trophy about two seasons back, I scored unbeaten 75 and 68 versus Hyderabad which we won outright.
This was a turning point for it gave me confidence. I first turned out for TFUCC and the last two years, I have been playing for Alwarpet in the TNCA’s First Division. I have been consistent with the bat in the league scoring about six 50’s. All this will come handy in the U-19 Challenger series,” said the 18-year old.
Former Ranji cricketer and chairman of the state U-19 selection committee S Srinivason believes that Sai is a unique talent and will go places.“Sai is a confident batsman at the top of the order. He got two unbeaten hundreds and a fifty in the Vinoo Mankad tournament. The fact that he is a left-hander is also an advantage. The U-19 Challenger series will give him good exposure,” shared Srinivason.
Sai, who was part of the Chepauk Super Gillies in the TNPL, did not play in the tournament this season. He is keen to use it as a platform to later enter into the senior stateside.“I want to get back into the TNPL. My strength is playing full quota of overs and spending time at the wicket. I am also strong in playing close to the body. I need to improve the conversion rate as I have got out in the 60s and 70s many times,” explained Sai.
His father Bhardwaj R is an international athlete who represented the country in the SAF Games in Dhaka while mother Usha Bhardwaj has represented the state in volleyball.“My parents are a big inspiration for me. Since both are sportsmen, they encouraged me to be a cricketer. Both of them help me stay fit mentally and physically,” he said.
In the City Express edition dated November 11, the article ‘Dignity in Discrimination’ erroneously mentioned Anandhi R as the Chief Commissioner with the Income Tax Department. She is an income tax officer at the office of the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in Coimbatore. Error is regretted.
Sai, who was part of the Chepauk Super Gillies in the TNPL, did not play in the tournament this season. He is keen to use it as a platform to later enter into the senior stateside.