One day, Rahul Tripathi will have crowds cheering him like they now do for MS Dhoni, Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane among others. That is what Manoj Tiwary felt about his Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) teammate and opener who shone brighter than some of the sport’s biggest names at Eden Gardens on Wednesday with a 52-ball 93 that had nine fours and seven sixes. (IPL 2017 FULL COVERAGE)
“I have been following his performance(s) in the domestic circuit. He got a century against Bengal in the Ranji Trophy and I knew then that this player’s time would come. He also hit a 92 against Bengal in the Syed Mushtaq Trophy so, through the season he has been in good touch. He has got good starts in IPL 10. He was outstanding today.
“Young players these days don’t get overawed by crowd chanting names of big players.
Assistant coaches actually help you deal with such things. In the early days of the IPL many would, myself included. I don’t think Rahul was focusing on anything beyond the 22 yards. I am sure his fan base will grow after this knock,” said Tiwary after RPS’s four-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Tripathi’s innings was built in the mould of David Miller’s in IPL 2013 and 2014. The South African had said, to anything in the V, a player should aim for the tree outside the ground. If it is in the arc, the ball should be sent out of the park.
Knight Chris Woakes too termed Tripathi as a future prospect.
“Unlike with Warner (against Sunrisers Hyderabad), we didn’t give him any chances tonight. He attacked the new ball and sent the spinners over the boundary a few times. He played fantastic,” said Woakes after KKR’s second successive defeat in IPL 2017.
‘Tripathi good, Stokes better’
Tiwary said Ben Stokes’ century that helped RPS escape to victory was a better innings than Tripathi’s midweek effort. “We were 10/3 but the way he (Stokes) played, the kind of shots he executed made it a treat to watch. ‘Stokesy’ inspired us ahead of the difficult game against KKR, who are a balanced team. If we had lost that it would have been very difficult against KKR,” he said.
“I think we are peaking at the right time,” said Tiwary after the easy win.
Accepting that KKR got around 15-20 runs short, Woakes said the dressing room is still upbeat about finishing in the top two. “This is the sort of tournament where you can win back to back games,” said Woakes.
Both KKR and RPS have 14 points from 11 games.