Mukund gets the nod for his grit and courage | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Mukund gets the nod for his grit and courage

He made his Test debut in the West Indies only because of injuries to Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, but young opener Abhinav Mukund has been rewarded for showing the commitment so crucial at the highest level.

cricket Updated: Jul 03, 2011 00:59 IST
N Ananthanarayanan

He made his Test debut in the West Indies only because of injuries to Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, but young opener Abhinav Mukund has been rewarded for showing the commitment so crucial at the highest level.

The 21-year-old left-handed batsman said he did not even think he would be in the Caribbean squad, leave alone go on the demanding England series. That was on the eve of the team selection. This indicated he would rather live in the present than look too far ahead.

But Mukund showed grit with a 25 in the second innings of the first Test in Kingston, supporting Rahul Dravid as the master batsman pushed ahead to make a match-winning century. A punched four against Fidel Edwards told him he belonged at the Test level.

At the bouncy Kensington Oval, he appeared to have trumped his Tamil Nadu opening partner Murali Vijay, the batsman who seemed to have the first right of refusal until he wrecked his chances.

Mukund made a disciplined 48 and again dug in with Dravid and took the senior's simple advice: “Watch the ball”. He did despite getting a knock on his helmet from a Fidel Edwards' flyer.

Although the Barbados fast bowler forced him to glove a lifting delivery to dash his hopes of a maiden Test half-century, the discipline was there for all to see.

He made his first-class debut as a teenager in 2007 and averages around 60 from 40 games with 13 centuries, including hundreds on his Ranji and Irani Cup debut. He scored a triple hundred in a 462-run partnership with Vijay against Maharashtra in the 2009-10 season. Those efforts saw him get into the squad for the Bangalore Test against Australia last year.