Anmolpreet Singh makes mark, picked up for Sri Lanka warm-up game | Hindustan Times
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Anmolpreet Singh makes mark, picked up for Sri Lanka warm-up game

Anmolpreet Singh, who scored a double ton for Punjab against Chhattisgarh, will play for Board President’s XI against Sri Lanka in a two-day warm up match in Kolkata.

cricket Updated: Nov 05, 2017 23:14 IST
Shalini Gupta
Anmolpreet Singh is the third-highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy this season .
Anmolpreet Singh is the third-highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy this season .(HT Photo/Bharat Bhushan)

Anmolpreet Singh’s iPod has singer Guru Randhawa’s inspirational number ‘Gabru nu maare’. It wasn’t coincidence that before going out to bat against Chhattisgarh in Ranji Trophy, the song played in a loop.

A double ton (267) followed, which not only set up an outright victory for Punjab but also put the team on top in Group D. The 19-year-old batsman, who made his Ranji debut against Himachal Pradesh and scored a half-century, is on a roll. The performance got him a place in the Board President’s XI, after Naman Ojha’s injury, who will take on Sri Lanka in a two-day warm up match in Kolkata.

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Scoring 430 in three innings of three matches, Anmolpreet is the third-highest run-scorer in Ranji this season after G Vihari (573) and Prashant Chopra (502).

“It was good to get a half-century on debut. However, I was disappointed to lose the berth in the second game against Vidarbha. I was told to play in the CK Nayudu Trophy against Himachal. I wanted to score a big knock and get back my spot in the senior team for Ranji Trophy.

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“I kept focus and scored a double century against Himachal and was happy to be included against Goa. I scored a century and we won with a bonus point. The job is half done as I would like to score more big knocks in Ranji Trophy,” said the middle-order batsman, who scored his first century (113) against Goa and followed it with a double-century against Chhattisgarh. His 267 came off 262 deliveries at a strike-rate of 101.91.

The Patiala-based player scored a record-breaking 1,154 runs in the Cooch Behar U-19 tournament (most runs in the tournament) in the 2014-15 season to grab headlines and make the India U-19 team for the Youth World Cup in 2016.

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At 16, he was picked by the Punjab Cricket Association’s senior selection committee for the North Zone T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Last season, he scored 383 runs in the CK Nayudu Trophy and was hoping for a Ranji call up. “I was in good form last season too and was expecting a call to the senior team. It happened this season and with the team also winning, I am in high spirits,” said Anmolpreet, who idolizes Virat Kohli and cherishes the moment when he met the India captain during a BCCI function a few years back.

Anmolpreet had bagged the MA Chidambaram Trophy for the best U-19 cricketer in 2015. “I have been encouraged by captain Jiwanjot Singh, Bhajji paaji (Harbhajan Singh) and Yuvi paaji (Yuvraj Singh). I need to play well in the next two leagues matches,” said Anmolpreet.

Son of former India handball player Satwinderpal Singh, Anmolpreet’s 430 runs have come at a strike-rate of 85.31.

Punjab had a dismal start to the Ranji season. After a draw against Himachal, they lost to Vidarbha by an innings. Punjab staged a comeback to beat Goa and Chhattisgarh outright. Anmolpreet’s inclusion bolstered Punjab’s middle order in both the matches.

“A lot of debutants are doing well this season. Prithvi Shaw is hogging the limelight. From Punjab, Abhishek Sharma, Abhishek Gupta and Anmolpreet have made an impression. The way Anmolpreet is batting, I can say wait and watch for this youngster,” said captain Jiwanjot.

Punjab take on Bengal from November 17 in their next match.

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