A broken thumb and injured shoulder kept Rajasthan batsman Robin Bist on the sidelines during the last domestic season. Multiple injuries during a space of only five matches not only denied Bist hits in the middle,but took away crucial opportunities of making his case in front of the selectors.
After entering the elite 1000-run club in the 2011/12 season,Bist was emerging as a fine prospect before a thumb injury crashed his hopes. The injury denied him a spot on the India A tour to New Zealand in 2012,and kept him out of action for three months.
On return,he notched up a century in the first innings of the Irani Trophy (2012) match against Rest of India (ROI) and a half-century in the second,against an attack featuring Umesh Yadav,Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha. The next season was promising to be a good one,but Bist had little clue about the road ahead. Injuries came to haunt him again,this time even worse.
“I got three injuries in the season. My right thumb,which was injured earlier too,broke again. I couldn’t play and was infected with viral fever,which forced me into hospital for a day. After dealing with both,I appeared for one game,but got hit on my shoulder and tore my ligament,” says Bist,who scored 348 runs in the six Ranji Trophy matches he played. “The only thing which went wrong last season was my injuries,which kept me out of action and reduced my chances further. The worst part was that all these things happened in five matches. It was a very bad phase for me to sit out. I wanted to be out there,wanted to bat and wanted to score runs.”
Bist went up to his skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar and got much-needed ‘direction’ for the road ahead.
“I went up to him and said,’Dada,I was so close to playing for India,and now I am so far. What do I do?’ He told me to not think about things beyond my control and try making changes which can improve my chances. He told me that it’s now up to me about how I want to prepare and become better,” recalls Bist. “I made it a point to note them down and keep working in that direction. I came to Delhi with my head down,but a strong determination to return with a bang.”
Bist returned to his hometown,with little clue about how his homecoming would turn out. He was in introspective mode for the first week,but hit the ground running,playing as many matches as he could.
“I played so much local cricket in Delhi this year and scored eight centuries in various tournaments. During the time these tournaments are played,seamers hardly play a role. So,in order to succeed here you have to play spin well. I was never in trouble facing the seamers,but wanted to master the art of playing spin to convert 50s into 100s and 100s into 150s,” he says. “This you can only do when you dominate against the spinners and score at a healthy rate. I wanted to prove a point for myself,not for anyone else.”