Knight Riders batsman Manvinder Bisla bats during the IPL final match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. (Photo by Santosh Harhare / Hindustan Times)
Manvinder Bisla is not a household name. There's a chance you may have never even heard of him, an ordinary return of 78 runs in his first five matches this season is hardly anything to write home about. All that changed with an innings of brute force in the IPL-V final.
But who is he? He plays for Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy, and has played for three different franchises. Prior to his innings of a lifetime, Bisla's lone innings of note was an equally destructive 75 for Kings XI against RCB in IPL-III.
On Sunday, he may have shown his destructive prowess against CSK, and was much the aggressor in his 48-ball 89. Off the field, however, Bisla is a man who shuns aggression. Love is the over-riding emotion of his life. During IPL-III one was travelling by a Volvo bus to Chandigarh for a Kings XI Punjab match. On the adjacent seat was a tall, fair girl with classical features, who turned out to be Bisla's childhood love and wife Arpita.
The duo met while they were studying together at DAV school in Faridabad.
"We met when we were in school and even though we went to different colleges (Manvinder went to Delhi's Hindu College while Arpita studied at LSR College) we always used to hang out together," a beaming Mrs Bisla told this reporter then.
The two tied the knot on March 11, 2007 after a long courtship, and according to the missus they lead a pretty low-key existence.
"We lead a pretty much normal life, he goes to gym or practice in the mornings and in the evenings we like to spend time together, watching TV or going to the cinema to watch a movie."
Bisla is a very cool and composed character at home. "He's always very calm, he never gets angry. Not like his batting," said Arpita, who counts KKR assistant coach Vijay Dahiya's wife and KKR player Rajat Bhatia's wife among her friends.
MS Dhoni is one man who is well aware of Bisla's ability. The duo has been involved in a few big-hitting exhibitions when batting together for Air India. After Sunday, a few million more would know of his skills.
KKR deserve win but Dhoni is India's best T20 captain