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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Special to represent Chandigarh: Gurinder Singh after dream season in Ranji Trophy

The Chandigarh all-rounder believes that playing under captain Manan Vohra, along with experienced players like Bipul Sharma and Uday Kaul, has helped his game.

Written by Nitin Sharma | Chandigarh | Updated: February 23, 2020 9:04:18 am
Gurinder Singh, Ranji Trophy, Chandigarh news, punjab news, indian express news All-rounder Gurinder Singh is in terrific form with bat and ball this Ranji Trophy season (Express photo)

Last week, the 27-year-old Chandigarh all-rounder, Gurinder Singh, scored his First Class double century and took a five-wicket haul against Manipur in Chandigarh’s last match in Ranji Trophy plate group campaign. The Chandigarh all-rounder finished the tournament with a total of 401 runs and 40 wickets.

In the 2018-2019 Ranji Trophy season, Singh had scored 405 runs apart from taking 45 wickets for Meghalaya and this season saw Singh achieving the feat of scoring 400 or more runs and taking 40 wickets or more in Ranji trophy for the second time in a row. While Chandigarh failed to advance into the knock-out stage of Ranji Trophy, Singh has taken lots of positives from his first outing in Chandigarh colours in the Ranji trophy.

“The 2018-2019 season performance while playing for Meghalaya had lifted my confidence a lot. It also meant that I was eager to maintain the same form this season. Such performances always lift one’s confidence and my aim was to repeat the same this season. I had started playing cricket at the Sector 16 stadium and to represent Chandigarh was a special feeling. Even though the team did not advance into the knock-out stage, we had plenty of positives from this experience. Individually speaking, scoring my maiden First Class double century was the biggest high for me this season apart from taking wickets at crucial stages for Chandigarh,” shared Singh.

A native of Mansa in Punjab, Singh had joined the Sector 16 stadium in the year 2000 and used to stay at his maternal uncle Malkiat Singh’s home in Sector 22. The following years saw Singh playing for Punjab U-14, U-16, U-19 and U-22 teams apart from being a part of U-19 NCA camp four times. He was also in the probables for the U-19 ICC World Cup and made his list A debut for Punjab against Delhi in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2013. Singh also played in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy for Punjab but lack of chances in the Ranji Trophy team meant that Singh made the switch to Tripura in 2016.

In 2018-2019 Ranji Trophy season, Singh opted to play for Meghalaya and took four five-wicket hauls apart from three four-wicket hauls in a season where he scored 405 runs and claimed a total of 45 wickets. This season, Singh claimed six wickets in Chandigarh’s opening match against Arunachal Pradesh at Sector 16 stadium and the all-rounder returned with two more five-wicket hauls in an innings in the season including nine wickets in the match against Bihar. Apart from the double century against Manipur, Singh also scored two half-centuries including a knock of 99 runs against Sikkim.

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“Taking six wickets against Arunachal Pradesh in the first match for Chandigarh this season boosted my confidence and I know that I can repeat such performances. The six-wicket haul against a strong Bihar team at the Sector 16 stadium was the best bowling performance for me in this season. Right from my early days in cricket, I have spent a lot of time on my batting under Harish Sharma sir and it has helped me a lot. Chandigarh coach VRV Singh too showed a lot of faith in me. He would applaud the good performances and also motivate us to learn from a bad performance,” shared Singh, whose father Rajpal Singh is a fire officer at Ropar.

Singh believes that playing under captain Manan Vohra, along with experienced players like Bipul Sharma and Uday Kaul, has helped his game. Singh will now be playing in England for his club Smethwick Cricket Club in the Birmingham Premier Division Cricket league ahead of the next domestic season in India. “Captain Manan Vohra led the team with calm. The dressing room atmosphere has helped each of us. Having players like Bipul paji and Uday paji has also helped the players. They often help me with tips, when I face any difficulty. Prior to the next Indian domestic season, I will be playing for my club Smethwick Cricket Club in the Birmingham Premier Division Cricket league and I hope this will help me ahead of the domestic season,” shared Singh.

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