In December 2018, 18-year-old Manipur’s left-arm pacer Rex Rajkumar Singh made the cricketing fraternity sit up and take notice after achieving the rare feat of picking up all 10 wickets in an innings during a Cooch Behar Under-19 Trophy match against Arunachal Pradesh in Anantpur.
A year later, Rex is once again making ripples when he came up a brilliant bowling performance during the Plate Group match between Manipur and Mizoram on the opening day of 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season at Jadavpur University Ground in Salt Lake on Monday.
Batting first, Mizoram were bundled out for just 51, with Rex being the wrecker-in-chief. The 19-year-old returned with figures of 8-4-22-8, dismissing five batsmen for a duck.
WATCH: Manipur’s left-arm seamer Rex Singh’s eight-wicket haul against Mizoram.
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) December 9, 2019
In reply, Manipur reached 225/7 in 71 overs at stumps with a lead of 190 runs. Rex Singh was also a star with the bat as he remained not out on 58 at the draw of stumps.
Reflecting on his spell, Rex spoke to the indianexpress.com on Monday and said, “After my exploits last year, I worked hard on my bowling with our coach Manish Jha. I also spent some time in New Delhi with him where he helped me focus on my fitness.”
“This in turn has also helped me improve my pace. Today, the intention was to always keep it full and straight because I know my swing can trouble the batsmen. I am also working on my outswing (to right-handers)”
Rex also watches videos on YouTube to harness his skills. “I watch videos of James Anderson and Zaheer Khan which have helped my bowling. I focus on how they used to hold the ball to get the movement. I have also watches some talk shows where they explain on how to go work on swing bowling. I hope to continue my performances and maybe then I can meet them one day and get some valuable tips,” he added.
Born in Sagolband Moirang Hanuba (3 km from Imphal), Rex’s journey to cricket began with a tennis ball in front of a small ground near his house.
It was there that Ph Rohendro Singh, who is currently his coach, noticed him for the first time and brought about the transition from tennis to leather-ball cricket.
“I took him under my wings as a 10-year-old and now I am extremely happy that he is bowling quick and maintaining discipline.,” Rohendro Singh told the indianexpress.com on Monday.
“What make him stand out from other left-arm bowlers, is his ability to swing and maintain discipline. I am happy that he is making progress with the leather ball.” he added.
In Kolkata: Mizoram: 65 all out in 16 overs (Taruwar Kohli 34; Rex Singh 8/22) vs Manipur 255/7 in 71 overs (Chingangbam Singh 89, Rex Singh 58; Bobby Zothansanga 4/75).