October 6, 2015 7:14:12 pm
Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh is keen to show his mettle in the Ranji Trophy this season and also aims to take up more responsibility as a senior batsman in his team.
“There have been one or two years when the consistency hasn’t been as good in Ranji Trophy. In the multi-day format you should score consistently to get noticed. The aim is to score 3-4 hundreds this season. I will (therefore) focus on the process,” Mandeep told reporters on Tuesday after Punjab’s practice session ahead of the Group B Ranji tie against Mumbai, commencing on October 8.
“I am the senior in this side, so the responsibility also increases. I am looking to play more responsibly this season and stay longer at the crease,” he added.
Mandeep, who comes into the match against 40-time champions and hosts Mumbai with a century under his belt that he scored against Railways in Mohali in the Group opener, said his complete focus is on the ongoing championship.
“I scored a century in the first match (of the season) so have got off to a good start. The focus in on continuing the good form. Sometimes you do get to a ton anyway, but the main thing is to continue batting well. Sometimes luck is not on your side, sometimes you are not able to convert the fifties, so my aim is to continue batting well. I will focus on the process more than the outcome,” said Mandeep.
“Right now my focus is on playing in the Ranji Trophy. If I perform well here, then obviously I will get a chance there (in the Indian team for the World T20 Championship at home in March-April, 2016) as well.”
Mandeep has done well in the Indian Premier League, playing for different franchises.
“As you said the I had done well in the IPL and then led India ‘A (to victory against the visiting South Africa in the T20 practice match at the Palam ground in Delhi). If you are doing well in Ranji then the performance counts,” he quipped.
The 23-year-old Jalandhar-born cricketer conceded he had not yet broken into the top echelons after starting his career alongside someone like Indian Test captain Virat Kohli and he said he has had talks with the latter as well as top South African batsman A B de Villiers while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL.
“I have spoken to Virat and AB. I keep learning from them. They have also said that more than the technical part how you handle things mentally matters and how you approach the game,” Mandeep, who has scored nine hundreds and 14 fifties in 49 first class games, said.
“I spoke with AB about the specifics including some technical bits during the IPL. He said that ‘your gameplan is important. Like here the ball turns with the bounce, while in Mohali it swings so those are the kind of adjustments that you make. You have to give yourself time and play according to the format. You have to exercise control in this format’.”
Mandeep said there was no point thinking about the future but focus on the game.
“You can’t think about the time (past) and take on the pressure. That has happened to me before. I had done well in the IPL in 2011-12 and then did well for India ‘A’ as well, so I would think I would make it now (break into the India squad), that with one more hundred I will be there. But there is no point in thinking like that and instead it’s better to focus on your game and look to perform.”
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