It’s back to the basics for Kings XI Punjab opener Manan Vohra. He announced his arrival on the big stage during the last season of IPL but the Chandigarh-based opener is hungry for more, this time in the Champions League T20.
Manan is hoping for a mental switch. When his coach Yograj Singh arrived in Chandigarh from the United States of America after getting a surgery done for throat cancer, Manan showed him the videos of his IPL knocks, especially his innings of 67 runs against KKR. Yograj told Manan that he was getting over-excited and throwing away his wicket with ease. Since then, Manan has been working extensively in the nets on his batting with former Indian cricketer and father of Yuvraj Singh. Come Mohali leg of the CLT championship on September 18, and Manan would be itching to go out in the field with other opener Virender Sehwag and make the most of the opportunity.
Having impressed the national selectors earlier in the IPL, Manan realises the value of this opportunity ahead of India’s Australian tour and also the 2015 World Cup. “It was amazing to have played for KXIP like that. I used the exposure well and learnt so much from Sehwag. He played a key role in motivating and encouraging me,” Manan told Newsline. “I wanted to do well for my ailing coach Yog Sir who was then getting treated for throat cancer. I am not looking at the Australian tour or at the World Cup 2015, but I want to deliver the goods for KXIP in the Champions League which will be very competitive. It won’t be easy taking on world-class bowlers but I will try my best and I am sure Viru Bhaaji’s presence at the other end will be of great help.”
Manan, 21, featured in only half of the matches that runners-up Kings XI Punjab played but he still stood out with his smart hitting and consistency. In eight matches, he notched up 324 runs at a wonderful average of 40.5 and a strike rate of 139. He hit one half-century in the event, apart from his other good scores. His best of 67 came in the final, but was in vain. He hit 27 fours and 16 sixes during the tournament.
Yuvraj Singh, who is an idol for Manan, also feels that the time is not far when Manan would be in the Indian team. Speaking to Newsline, Yuvraj said, “I have been watching Manan play cricket when he was just a kid. He has come of age and made a name for himself. He is a great talent and also has been scoring consistently at the domestic circuit. He is aggressive and dynamic and certainly one of the best I have seen among the younger lot. He should be playing for India soon. Dad and I have advised him adjustments in his batting. I am sure he has been working on that. I see another cricketer bursting out at the international level from Chandigarh soon.”
It was due to his impressive show in the tournament that Manan was given a call-up to the India A ODI team that travelled to Australia for a series. The national selectors will be keeping an eye on the youngsters, who have been doing well this season, and Manan is also an Indian team prospect.
“I will be like a motorcar rally driver and Viru Bhaaji will be like my navigator. I have been talking to him a lot since we got together in Chandigarh for the preparatory camp. Playing alongside him is a bonus,” said Manan.