The big talking point on Sunday night was a little known cricketer,who almost single-handedly gave the Kolkata Knight Riders the momentum to snatch their first title in the league. In the process,Manvinder Bisla nearly managed to do what had never been achieved in four previous finals before a century on the big day. While he missed by just 11 runs,Bisla was all smiles at the end of the evening. As for the first time in his career,he hadnt fallen short of what he had been looking for all along success.
In search for just that,the 27-year-old from Hisar,Haryana,had plied his trade for as many as three Ranji teams Haryana,Himachal and Jammu & Kashmir. Yet,success remained elusive. And as a serious knee injury put him off the domestic cricket radar last season,the keeper-batsmans career hung by the proverbial thread. But like many strugglers before him,the IPL threw him a rescue rope,and Bisla clung on with both hands.
Manvinder is an aggressive stroke-maker,he is an instinctive batsman and is not afraid to play his shots, says Rajdeep Kalsi,Bislas coach from Himachal. He was certainly not afraid to play his shots against the Chennai Super Kings,taking apart their fast men before using his feet well to clear the infield against the spinners. All traits seen by his different mentors at various stages of his domestic career.
Born and brought up in Haryana,Bisla dominated his batch in age group cricket,before representing the state in the Ranji Trophy. But as chances were few and far in between,Bisla decided to try his luck as a professional with Himachal. He showed much promise with them,averaging 47 in his very first season there. The story goes that the then Team India coach,John Wright,attended a Duleep Trophy game to only watch the youngster play.
Things however didnt work out for Bisla,as following a lean patch with the bat,he decided to try his luck as a big fish,small pond player with J&K. But after just one season there,his wavering mind forced him to return back to Himachal. Says secretary of HPCA,Vishal Marwah: Manvinder moved away for a season,but then we rehired him,for he came back looking for success. It continued to elude him,then Sunday night happened.