Bhatt builds on a good season with another fiver | india | Hindustan Times
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Bhatt builds on a good season with another fiver

india Updated: Jan 13, 2011 00:07 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
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Three months ago, when a young Baroda squad was preparing for the Ranji Trophy, left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt was not assured of a place in the eleven for the full season.

On Wednesday, with three days remaining in the premier domestic tournament, the 20-year-old is on the verge of ending as the highest wicket-taker of the season.

The achievement has hardly changed the youngster. His teammates admit he is as shy as he was at the start of the season.

Besides his calm personality, the other constant - the ability to pick wickets consistently - has resulted in Baroda making it to the final of the tournament.

And the youngster didn't let his team down in the grand final as he walked away with his fourth five-wicket haul to take his tally for the season to 45.

While he had dismissed two of the first three Rajasthan batsmen on the first day, his first of three dismissals on Wednesday would in all likelihood be the ball of the season.

With Robin Bist flicking the spinners off the pad, Bhatt changed the line and came over the wicket, pitched one outside leg on a rough patch; Bist missed it and was stunned to see his off-stump uprooted.

Still Bhatt modestly refuses to rate it as the best of his 45 wickets. "Every wicket is important, so it's difficult to rate it."

Though he takes time to open up, once he does, he is as expressive, albeit in Hindi, as he is with the ball.

Ask him how different it was to play in first-class cricket than age group games and he says, "In under-22, the odd loose ball that you bowl isn't necessarily punished but at the first-class level, that's not the case. You have to keep all six balls of an over, over after over and match after match accurate."

That's not rocket science but the key is to implement it. Bhatt has succeeded in doing it match after match. Time will tell if he can do it season after season.