18-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman aims for Punjab state team

  • Sutanterpal Singh, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 24, 2015 17:41 IST

Pardeep Yadav falls short of words when being asked to describe his reactions after the semi-final match of the Punjab under-19 inter-district cricket tournament for Dhruv Pandove Trophy.

Even though he was delighted to have scored 141 against Patiala, he couldn’t hold back his disappointment after the match as Chandigarh suffered a heartbreaking loss.

Despite finishing as the second best against Patiala, Pardeep showcased his talent with both the willow and the gloves behind the stumps.

With 316 runs in four matches under his belt that also included a ton and two half-centuries in the Dhruv Pandove Trophy, Pardeep was one of the top performers for Chandigarh.

However, when Pardeep first picked up the bat at the age of 11, his journey into the world of cricket was anything but fairytale.

Born in Amethi, he was hardly inclined towards cricket and never tried his hands at the game until the day his father was posted to Chandigarh.

The transfer of his father, a BSNL employee, turned out to be a boon for Pardeep. It was on reaching here that he was gripped by cricket fever.

“My elder brother took me to a cricket academy and that was when I had my first brush with the game. I always had his support as he wanted me to become a cricketer,” shared the 18-year-old Pardeep, who honed his skills under the guidance of coach Harminder Singh.

It was Harminder who taught him the basics of the game and closely monitored his game.

He started at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, but later shifted to Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, where he still trains.

Apart from batting, Harminder also encouraged him to improve his wicket-keeping skills. He proved to be a reliable keeper for Chandigarh. Pardeep had 12 dismissals, including a stumping, to his name in the recently concluded Dhruv Pandove tournament.

Although, Pardeep showed consistency with the bat in the Dhruv Pandove Trophy, he says he has still a lot of work to do before he could call himself a consistent performer.

“Manan Vohra is one cricketer I look up to. He has established himself as a top cricketer in Punjab. Seeing him do well also gives me the confidence of repeating his act. Virat Kohli is very consistent and I am a great fan of his,” Pardeep, a class 12 student of DAV SSS-8, said.

After a fine showing in Dhruv Pandove Trophy, Pardeep has now shifted his attention towards securing a berth in the Punjab U-19 state team.

“I have represented Punjab in under-14 and -16 tournaments and it is my dream to represent Punjab at the U-19 level. I am working hard on my game and I am trying to iron out my weaknesses,” added Pardeep.

Showering praise on his ward, coach Harminder is delighted with Pardeep’s recent performances.

“Apart from his sharp wicketkeeping skills, he also has a solid batting technique. He can play defensive as well as attacking shots. I have high hopes from him,” said Harminder.

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