Despite not featuring in a single match in the IPL last season,Vijay Zol believes he has learnt a lot. The 18-year-old from Jalna,who was recently named the captain of the India under-19 team,says the interactions he had with bigwigs in the Royal Challengers Bangalore camp will help him lead a team of fresh-faced youngsters to Australia for a triangular series on June 28.
During our training sessions,I made it a point to talk to as many senior players as possible. Of course I didnt know that I was going to be named captain then. The things I learned from (AB) De Villiers,Daniel Vettori and Virat Kohli are going to be very useful, he says.
Zol says that a chat with Kohli,who himself captained the Indian U-19 team to glory in the 2008 World Cup was the high point. Virat spoke to me about ways to motivate myself for games and also egg on my teammates. He also spoke to me about taking the right decision at the right time and more importantly,backing the decisions that I take. He told me that since I have a prior experience of U-19 international cricket,I need to put that to good use for my teammates and myself, he says.
Zol was part of Indias 2012 U-19 World Cup winning team under Unmukt Chand and played every match in the tournament.
He said that a solid Cooch Behar trophy in January,that saw Maharashtra as champions,and a strong performance for the senior Maharashtra team in the Vijay Hazare trophy have ensured that he is in prime form. I played well in the Cooch Behar campaign,got a couple of big hundreds. Scoring centuries always boosts your confidence. Also I scored 75 in the first Deodhar Trophy game I played. Playing with big names and performing well has further strengthened my self-confidence, he says.
Zol also displayed his big-hitting skills during the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Championship game against Mumbai in March,where he hammered a 63-ball 109. He also had a fruitful List A season,scoring 225 runs in six innings at a healthy average of 37.5. To round off an impressive domestic season,Zol averaged 59 in 12 innings in Maharashtras Cooch Behar campaign.
Having played and won a World Cup in Australia,the newly-anointed captain says he is enjoying the new responsibility. I led the practice matches and I am enjoying helping people out. Also,having played in Australia,I am able to pass on tips about the wickets,the extra bounce and movement to my teammates. Also Bharat Arun,who coached the 2012 World Cup team has been named coach once again and everyone is very comfortable working with him, he says.
Zols captaincy mantra is pretty simple. A lot of people have told me to keep things simple. I am going to lead from the front,let my bat do the talking. Also,its my responsibility to set good examples and thats exactly what I am going to do, he says.