When Punjab and Haryana walk out to take the field at the Jamia Millia Islamia, a lot of attention will be directed towards an unusual suspect. It is not Harbhajan Singh or Yuvraj Singh, or even Mohit Sharma but Manan Vohra. The 21 year-old from Chandigarh recently hit the headlines when he was retained by Kings XI Punjab alongside David Miller, despite being an uncapped player. Manan Vohra will shoulder a huge responsibility when he takes guard on Thursday against Haryana in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as it also marks his List A debut.
The expectations are bound to be high but Vohra seems relaxed and knows that the Vijay Hazare tournament is a different challenge. “Being retained by KXIP is a huge confidence for me. The IPL itself is a great platform as some good performances can open a lot of doors. I feel a bit under pressure but I guess pressure sometimes helps you perform better. Vijay Hazare is my priority right now and I would like to get big runs under my belt,” says Vohra.
Vohra said but he wasn’t expecting to be retained by the KXIP. “I clearly had no idea that something like this would happen. I was busy playing the Ranji game in Jharkhand when I got a call from one of the KXIP officials that I have been retained and not going into the auction,” Vohra says.
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When Vohra walked back after batting in the nets, coach Bhupinder Singh praised his ward. “He is a very talented player. He is in fine form and I expect him to take the side through. At the same time, I want him to be more responsible as a batsman. I am saying this because in the past he has played unnecessary shots and gotten out at crucial junctures. He is not a kid anymore and he has to realise that he is playing first class cricket. And there is no age to play higher grade of cricket. If he can make 50-60, he can go on to make a hundred and century is the minimum benchmark for a batsman. So this a great platform for him,” Singh says.
Lack of patience
Even Vohra admits that his lack of patience led him to miss out on big scores, but that is something he has changed over the course of the season. “Earlier I used to get impatient while playing. I wanted to score fast and used to throw away my wicket. I have started to focus more on scoring singles just to ease pressure off me,” he says.
The results have been there to see as Vohra has been a changed player since the CK Nayudu Trophy this year. He scored three back to back hundreds and took his form into the Ranji Trophy and scored a century against Jharkhand. Then before coming to Delhi for the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he was adjudged the best batsman in the Katoch Shield (senior inter-district tournament).