Ravi Teja, Kohli’s U-19 teammate, eyes career rebuild with Ranji big knocks
Almost a decade ago, Ravi Teja was named alongside Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja as the talented ones to look out for.cricket Updated: Oct 25, 2016 11:18 IST
Once touted as a good all-rounder in the making, Dwaraka Ravi Teja’s career froze just at that as he failed to fulfil his potential. On Sunday, the 29-year-old Teja, who plays for Andhra, opened up about where he lost momentum and how he plans to get his career back on track to stake a claim for an India call-up.
Almost a decade ago, Teja was named alongside Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja as the talented ones to look out for. An aggressive opener with a penchant for unrestrained strokeplay, Teja (653 runs in six matches) was the highest run-getter for Hyderabad in the 2007-08 Ranji season and finished seventh in the overall list. Only Gautam Gambhir (730 runs in five matches) had amassed more runs in fewer matches than him.
“I regret not being able to capitalise on a few chances I’ve had in the past, including during my days with the Under-19 India team,” was Teja’s honest confession when asked to reflect upon his career. “A number of players with whom I used to share dressing rooms now represent India on a regular basis. Early on, I didn’t think too much about my role or selections and just wanted to have a good game.
“But as a senior player now, I need to take more responsibilities and think about my role in a more elaborate manner,” added Teja. “I’m batting lower down the order with Andhra and I’m not used to this position. But being a senior player in the side, I need to adapt to such situations.”
Teja switched over to Andhra from Hyderabad and has notched up two half-centuries this season. However, with double and triple hundreds recorded across the country in the Ranji Trophy this season, Teja knows he needs to start converting his starts into big scores.
“I want to score 700 runs this season. Anything above that will be a bonus,” he said. “This (joining Andhra) is like my second innings. I’m enjoying my stint so far and I exactly know what is expected of me and what my role is inside the dressing room.”
While Jammu & Kashmir made a mess of their first innings lead, eventually handing Andhra their first victory in the Ranji Trophy in two years, Teja (50) threw his wicket away when his side was just 42 short of the win. His second innings at the Brabourne Stadium had uncanny similarities with the first. Leading the chase, Teja approached the game in a patient manner, didn’t tinker with the good deliveries outside the off-stump, pounced on the loose balls and got out at a moment when he should have soldiered on.
With just two points from the first two matches, Andhra had to go for the kill on Sunday after bowling out Jammu and Kashmir for a paltry 111 in the second innings of the third-round Ranji match. However, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals, and almost threw the game away in a similar fashion as their opposition had done earlier in the day.
Bhargav Bhatt ended with nine wickets in the game for Andhra while Jammu and Kashmir’s first-innings sensation Aamir Aziz failed to add any to his tally. His teammate Parvez Rasool, though, picked one more than his first innings haul, but his seven-for in the match might not be enough to grab the selectors’ attention in a round filled with five and ten-fors.