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Ranji Trophy 2015: Youngster Himanshu Rana blooms in veteran Virender Sehwag’s shadow

Virender Sehwag hit a 129-ball 92 to steer Haryana out of trouble and inspired Himanshu Rana to celebrate his birthday with a ton.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: October 2, 2015 8:38:26 am
Virender Sehwag, Virender Sehwag Ranji Trophy, Ranji Trophy Virender Sehwag, Virender Sehwag Haryana, Haryana Virender Sehwag, Ranji Trophy 2015, Ranji Trophy 2015-16, Ranji Trophy scores, Virender Sehwag, Sehwag, cricket news, cricket The four-pronged pace attack continued to test Virender Sehwag outside off but he was not in a mood to give it away. (Source: Express File)

Sometimes when a player, with a legendary status, leaves a state he has been playing for a long time and turns up for a smaller Ranji team, things can go wrong. It’s also a move viewed with cynicism. Will he give it his best to the new team or will he sulk?

Surender Bhave, Haryana’s coach, says there was no such problem with Virender Sehwag, who moved from Delhi to Haryana this season, and has started with a starring role in the first match.

Sehwag hit a 129-ball 92 to steer Haryana out of trouble and inspired the 17-year-old Himanshu Rana to celebrate his birthday with a ton that has Bhave oozing praise. At the end of the day, Haryana had reached 303 for 6.

“The thing that stood out from Sehwag’s knock was his patience. We all know what he is capable of but in this knock, he left many a delivery outside off and showed patience before opening out. That I am sure must have inspired the young Himanshu, who played a brilliant knock. It’s still even-stevens at the end of day as we have lost 6 wickets, but considering we were 32 for 3, it’s a good finish.”

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Sehwag, Bhave says, has been great in setting the mood of the dressing room. “The boys are enjoying his company. He just wants to enjoy his cricket and that is spreading. He has been great with the boys so far and puts them in the right frame of mind.”

Like he did on Thursday. Walking in at 5 for 1, he soon saw his team slip to 18 for 2 as the left-arm new-ball bowler Samad Fallah got some swing going. The four-pronged pace attack continued to test Sehwag outside off but he was not in a mood to give it away. Many a ball was left alone, forcing the bowlers to get it a lot straighter, which allowed Sehwag to bring his wrists into play. When Dominic Joseph extracted some bounce, Sehwag pulled back the years to unfurl some upper cuts.

As the afternoon wore on, Sehwag started to flow with all his trademark shots. The mistakes, though, started to appear in the 80s. A flash off Joseph saw the ball carry to first slip where Kedar Jadhav spilled it. Five runs later, Shrikant Mundhe had the ball nip back a touch and it was enough to thread the bat-pad gap that had opened up due to a lazy waft. The ball flattened the off stump and Sehwag had to trudge back.

Bhave doesn’t recall of Sehwag saying anything when he returned to the dressing room but there was not much time to ruminate, as Bhave and Co. were then treated to good batting from Rana. “He is the one to watch out for this season,” Bhave says though there were two lives — one on 95 when Chirag Khurana put down a catch at midwicket and another just after his hundred when the keeper missed a nick.

“But it was a brilliant knock for a 17-year old kid,” says Bhave. “A back-foot punch to the cover boundary off Mundhe was the highlight of Rana’s knock but it was the allround solidity that has impressed Bhave.

Brief scores: Haryana 303/6 in 90 overs (Himanshu Rana 138*, Virender Sehwag 92; Samad Fallah 3/70) vs Maharashtra

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