Baba Aparajith,19,makes rapid progress

19-year-old Baba Aparajith is quietly scoring runs and making a mark.

Written by Sahil Malhotra | New Delhi | Published: October 16, 2013 4:15 am

Away from the spotlight,which is focussed on Australia’s one-day tour of India and the recent comeback bids of senior cricketers playing for India ‘A’ versus West Indies ‘A’,19-year-old Baba Aparajith is quietly scoring runs and making a mark.

With scores of 212 and 109 in his last two innings for South Zone in the ongoing Duleep Trophy,Aparajith is in fine form. A double hundred at any level is an accomplishment,and young Aparajith,after scoring big on his Duleep Trophy (212 versus West Zone) and Deodhar Trophy debuts — he made 121 against East Zone in March — wants to make substantial contributions consistently.

“To get a double hundred on debut is a very special feeling. Getting those many runs is always good,no matter in what format or competition. My approach to the game is to stay positive,” Aparajith said.

The all-rounder — Aparajith is an off-spinner — understands that the level of expectations will only rise after his performances in the Duleep Trophy.

“There will be expectations,but I don’t want to put myself under pressure unnecessarily. I just want to enjoy my game and give my 100 per cent. Whether it is a Ranji Trophy game,an ‘A’ game or any local game,I want to contribute well every time I take the field. If I shift my focus from my cricket to whether I will be selected or not,it will only add pressure,” Aparajith added.

After the U-19 World Cup in 2012,which was held in Australia,Aparajith’s big break came when he was picked for the three unofficial one-dayers against the touring West Indies ‘A’ last month. After sitting out of the first two games,Aparajith replaced Unmukt Chand for the third and made a half-century.

“I was happy with the way I played,but was disappointed with the result as we lost that particular game. Yuvraj’s presence at the other end when I was at the wicket made things simpler for me. When he starts hitting fours and sixes,the batsman at the other end gets more time to get his eye in. Yuvraj didn’t speak a lot during the first few overs,but after we got set he did talk to me. Batting with Yuvraj was a good experience,Aparajith,who shared a crucial 112-run stand with Yuvraj,added. Aparajith’s preparation on match eve is a bit different from other players. “I don’t go to the nets before a match. I just try to keep myself occupied. I talk to my family,watch some television,have a chat with friends,” Aparajith added.

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