Scores three successive half centuries as ONGC defend title.
With LB Shastri Club needing eight to win with a ball left,ONGC only needed to ensure they didn’t bowl a wide or a no-ball. Seamer Sarang Rawat kept it simple,conceded a single,and his side had won the final of the Om Nath Sood Memorial tournament by six runs. Having successfully defended their title,ONGC celebrated quietly with handshakes,and as Tanmay Srivastava led the team off the field,there wasn’t even a huddle. Srivastava had been one of their top performers,with three half centuries in three matches,which won him the best batsman award.
It has been three years since Srivastava featured in the Indian Premier League. Having seen out his contract with Kings XI Punjab,the Uttar Pradesh opener keeps himself busy playing in the capital for his employers. Be it be a twenty-over or a forty-over game,Srivastava makes sure he is in constant touch with cricket. Having lived the majority of his life in Kanpur,he has shifted his base to Ghaziabad just to play as many matches as he can before the domestic season kicks off.
“As we don’t have any obligations towards our districts and with no such selection tournament in UP,I have all the time to practice and play quality matches. With ONGC,I am lucky to be playing against quality opposition in most of the tournaments. This has helped me a lot in preparing for the Ranji Trophy season,” says Srivastava. “A lot of people ask me if I need to change the pace of my game so that I can fit into the IPL. I tell them to see how Rahul Dravid is still sticking to his style and doing really well. And since my strike rate is over 130,why do I need to make any changes?”
Despite seeing many of his teammates participating in the IPL,Srivastava has no regrets. “I know IPL is a great platform for cricketers but only performance can help you cement your place. The last two domestic seasons have really gone well for me and the only thing I have learned is that I need to double my performance,” he says. “Right now I am scoring close to 600 runs in a season but I believe unless I score 1000 runs,I can’t be an outstanding prospect.”
On Tuesday,his knock of 72 turned out to be the saving grace for ONGC because other than him,it was only a cameo of 22 from Rawat that pushed ONGC’s score to 210. Srivastava made similar scores in the quarterfinal and semifinal,and feels that he missed out on the three-figure mark thrice. “The problem is not that I am getting out but others keep losing their wickets. Once you see wickets falling from the other end,then there is an urge to step up the run rate to score as many runs. But it is satisfying to be among the runs and I really hope that I convert these starts into big ones,” Srivastava says.
The pressure of leading a big side,Srivastava says,is a great experience. “Leading seniors is very interesting but more than that I like the added responsibility to make sure that I score well for my team,” he says. “Playing alongside seniors like Amit Bhandari and Sandeep Sharma is a huge boost and it also helps in my personal development before I go and join the UP squad.”
Brief Scores: ONGC 209 in 40 overs (Tanmay Srivastava 72,Parvesh Chikara 2/27,Nitish Rana 2/40) beat L.B.Shastri CC 203 for 10 in 40 overs (Sufiyan Alam 54,Kapil Dhaka 50*,Sandeep Raj Kaushik 50,Sarang Rawat 3/36).