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Priyank Panchal: Keen learner puts himself in Indian cricket team reckoning

Priyank Panchal performed brilliantly during the ongoing Duleep Trophy in Lucknow to put himself in the reckoning for the Indian cricket team.

cricket Updated: Sep 10, 2017 17:14 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Priyank Panchal,Indian cricket team,Duleep Trophy
Priyank Panchal plays a sweep shot for a boundary during Duleep Trophy in Lucknow.(HT Photo)

India’s new batting sensation Priyank Kirti Panchal is a cricketer as well as a keen observer of the game. His habit of studying the patience of other batsmen has made him quite a complete player in domestic cricket.

He loves watching videos of cricketers, especially Rahul Dravid, whenever he gets free time, and reads autobiographies of batting legends such as Sunil Gavaskar. He feels these help his batting immensely.

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“I love doing all this and find them quite helpful in planning my batting according to the situation. Dravid’s batting (three tons in the series) during India’s 2011 tour of England is a great inspiration… it helped me learn a lot about the game,” Priyank told Hindustan Times.

He also says that Gavaskar’s comment in his book that one shouldn’t be satisfied with just getting a hundred, but look to make a big hundred, inspired him a lot. “It’s all about your learning and habit to learn something. I don’t do anything extra when I go in the middle to bat. I just keep focusing on my basics and draw inspiration from what I have read or experienced so far.”

An admirer for India skipper Virat Kohli, especially his emphasis on singles in all formats of the game, Priyank believes that picking singles is as important as hitting a four or a six. “Singles are as important as a boundary or a six. Without this you can’t get the magical figures in any format of the game.”

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Playing his first match with the pink ball under lights here in the Duleep Trophy for India Red, Priyank says that reading the movement and pace of the pink ball wasn’t easy for him in the beginning, but he chose to play a waiting game, especially in the first innings when he got the chance to bat under lights.

“You get to read (especially shine) of the red ball even before the bowler delivers it, but with the pink ball, it is difficult. So, I chose to play the waiting game and never played a premeditated shot as I’ve played a number of times with the red ball. I let the ball be delivered and only then I planned my shots,” said Priyank, who had 105 in the first innings and an unbeaten 133 in the second innings.

The first man from Gujarat to score a triple hundred in Ranji Trophy history and the 11th man to score a century in both the innings of the Duleep Trophy, Priyank admires the contribution of his family to his success. “It’s their sacrifice for my betterment. My father, mother and sister inspired me and supported me to continue my passion. Had they not supported me, I would have not been here today,” says Priyank, who resides in Ahmedabad.

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Priyank also says that he has been putting a lot of emphasis on fitness in the last few years. “I am putting a lot of emphasis on fitness to play big innings and last long in the middle; you need to have extraordinary stamina and strength,” says Priyank, who had scored a triple-ton in Ranji Trophy against Punjab.

Priyank has been the mainstay of Gujarat cricket, and the way he batted last season was simply phenomenal. If his success journey continues, he could well earn the India cap soon.

First Published: Sep 10, 2017 17:14 IST