Chennai Super Kings batsman S Badrinath celebrates his fifty during the IPL Twenty20 match against Pune Warriors in Navi Mumbai.
Indian cricket isn’t known for many famous comebacks on the international stage, especially by those who have turned 30. But S Badrinath is set to buck the trend. The consistent Tamil Nadu middle order batsman emerged as the highest scorer in the last Ranji Trophy season and is the highest scorer of his team Chennai Super Kings in IPL 4.
No wonder his recall for the limited overs leg of the West Indies tour didn’t come as a surprise. Badrinath opened up to HT in a freewheeling chat. Excerpts
Did you feel time was running out for you?
When you are playing sport, it’s never nice that you are getting older. But it was just that I was always very confident. There is not one day when I thought that I will not make it. It was simply for the fact that I was playing good cricket. As long as you are playing good cricket, it’s fine. I have this feeling that if you are good enough, nobody can stop you.
Another aspect of my cricket I have laid a lot of importance on is fitness. I always take a lot of pride in my fitness. Why do they say you’re getting old or why do they differentiate? It’s only because of fitness. And since I have always enjoyed my fitness, I have a lot a lot of confidence in my work ethic and my fitness. I was confident that one day I am gonna make it.
How did you keep frustration away?
I was concentrating more on getting better as a player, learning something new every day, every practice, every match. These are the things I have learnt while playing alongside some great cricketers. That’s where IPL has really helped. I have kept learning what do from the big cricketers.
They try and constantly keep on improving. That’s what I have been trying to do. Once you do that, you are going to get better and will eventually play at the highest level.
Have you been discussing it with any particular player?
I spend a lot of time with Mike Hussey, obviously because we are similar as cricketers. He too had to wait quite a while for international cricket. It’s just the mindset, what he went through, how he went about doing it.
It is actually a nice feeling that I played a bit of international cricket before I turned 30. He said he hadn’t played a single international game before he was 30. But obviously he is where he is. I have read his book and have learnt a lot from him.
Did you ever feel asking Dhoni, your CSK skipper, what do you need to earn a national recall?
If you are good enough, nobody can keep you out. I didn’t want to go up to him. I am not a guy like that and he is also not a guy like that. He doesn’t talk much.
He just goes about his job and he knows me as a cricketer. So if someone doesn’t want me in the team, someone doesn’t want me. But I always had confidence in me and knew that things will come through.