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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Abhimanyu Easwaran scores century in Duleep Trophy final, underlines potential

Abhimanyu Eswaran scored 127 for Suresh Raina-led India Blue against India Red in the Duleep Trophy final

cricket Updated: Sep 28, 2017 11:34 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Abhimanyu Easwaran, 22, has been impressive in the India Blue vs India Red Duleep Trophy final.
Abhimanyu Easwaran, 22, has been impressive in the India Blue vs India Red Duleep Trophy final. (Facebook)

Young Abhimanyu Easwaran didn’t get a chance to play in the first two matches of the Duleep Trophy this season, but it didn’t disappoint him, and he kept working hard in the nets. (India vs Australia: 4th ODI - HIGHLIGHTS)

His hard work during India Blue’s training sessions paid him rich dividends when skipper Suresh Raina drafted him into the team for the five-day final against India Red, at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium here.

This was a big opportunity for the stylish batsman from Kolkata and he didn’t let the opportunity go out of his hands. His fourth first-class century, first in the Duleep Trophy, on Wednesday underlined his potential once again.

READ | India Red take huge lead vs India Blue after Day 3 of Duleep Trophy final

On a spinner-friendly red-clay track, the 22-year-old Easwaran had to adjust his batting as the pitch was little challenging. “Yes, it was quite a challenging pitch and I had to adjust my shots accordingly. I think it was decent innings, and if we had scored 50-more runs in the first innings, we would have been a better position now,” Eswaran told Hindustan Times at the end of Day Three play.

Playing his 24th first-class match during the last four years, Easwaran confessed that how sincerely he trained himself even though he didn’t get a chance to play in the first match. “I was preparing well with pink ball, and I was sure to get an opportunity soon,” he said.

READ | Duleep Trophy: Washington Sundar revels in all-round show for India Red

Terming the pink ball similar to white kookaburra ball, Easwaran said that it was coming properly on the bat when it was new, but once it became older and soft, shot selection was quite difficult for him. “There was no problem in reading the fingers of the left-arm orthodox bowlers, but the issue was with off spinners,” said Easwaran, who scored a brilliant 127 to save India Blue blushes.

Commenting on the slow pitch, Easwaran said that there was no problem on playing this wicket as he had already played on similar pitches and that too in odd conditions. “I have played a few Ranji Trophy games on such wickets in Chennai and Kolkata so adjustment wasn’t a problem.”

READ | Duleep Trophy: Players unimpressed by quality of pink ball

He, however, admitted that his side would be looking for the remaining three wickets of the India Red when the fourth-day play starts on Thursday afternoon. “If we get them out below 375, there would be an outside chance for us to stage a comeback in the game, but for that 2-3 batsmen have to play special innings. This could be achievable too as cricket is a funny game, and anything is possible,” said Easwaran, who termed his knock a confidence booster ahead of the Ranji Trophy season.

The boy from Dehradun also accepted that he never tried to play for Uttar Pradesh as he was suggested by someone to go to Kolkata for his cricket career. “There (Kolkata) I played regular league and after that got a chance to play for 16 and journey continued thereafter.”

First Published: Sep 28, 2017 11:34 IST

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