BENGALURU: November 1, 2010. Akshath Reddy does not want to remember the day despite it being his Ranji Trophy debut. It was a chaotic day in Hyderabad cricket, as the team was dismissed for 21 in the first innings against Rajasthan in Jaipur. It was a sad day for the opener, who has moved on to become one of the pillars for Hyderabad.
The right-hander has scored above 500 runs in five of the last seven seasons, including an impressive 797 in 2018-19. That was his best season and the right-hander seems to be continuing in that vein.
Riding his century, India Green made a solid start in the Duleep Trophy game against India Red, at Alur Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Reddy hit a brilliant 146, helping his team compile 308/4, with Siddhesh Lad (64) and Dhruv Sorey (44) playing their part. Despite an early struggle, where Reddy was beaten often by pacers Jaydev Unadkat and Avesh Khan, he passed that phase and made it count with an attacking display, which witnessed 17 fours and three sixes.
His numbers have not proved enough to push him into the India A team. This is easy to understand, considering the competition for the opening slots. Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran are the India A openers at the moment in the longer format. Not long ago, Mayank Agarwal occupied one of those slots.
“I think such competition is always good as it brings the best out of you. I have to make sure that I perform well and score whenever I get an opportunity. That’s my job,” said Reddy, who has 4766 runs in 68 first-class matches.
One has to score big to catch the attention of selectors. Mayank amassed 1160 in 2017-18. Last season, Panchal tallied 898 and Easwaran 861. Reddy is aware of the need to score more. On Thursday, he showed a glimpse of why he has not been able to post massive scores. With six overs to go for stumps, Reddy played a rash shot to be caught at the boundary line. “You have to perform extraordinarily to get into the India A side, given the kind of competition. I am trying to get as many as possible this season, and avoid getting out like this. I gave away a good opportunity. Just trying to focus on this so that I don’t make these mistakes in the season ahead,” said Reddy.
Lad was the only other player to cross fifty for India Green. Brief scores: India Green 308/4 (Akshath Reddy 146, Siddhesh Lad 64) vs India Red.