Managing class 12 CBSE exams and becoming the youngest IPL debutant at the same time can be a difficult task, but Royal Challengers Bangalore leg-spinner Prayas Ray Barman just did that.
Having conceded 0/56 runs from his four overs, the Bengal teenager may not have passed the RCB test with flying colours but his only solace was the entire bowling unit failed as a whole against the assault of the Jonny Bairstow (114) and David Warner (100 not out) as Sunrisers Hyderabad posted 231 for 2 en route to a massive 118-run win.
Just a couple of days ago, Prayas, who studies commerce at the Kalyani Public School in Kolkata and was to appear for his Economics paper, on Sunday hit the headlines by becoming the youngest IPL debutant at 16 years and 157 days.
The previous youngest was Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman at 17 years and 11 days for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2018. RCB next play Rajasthan Royals on April 2 and the very next day he will again be back in Kolkata for his Entrepreneurship exam on April 4. He will again join the team on the eve of the match against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 5.
“It’s tough but he is managing it. He has the full support of the team,” Prayas’s father Dr Kaushik Ray Barman told PTI. “(Virat) Kohli, AB (de Villiers) and (coach Gary) Kirsten are obviously encouraging him at the nets. Obviously they have seen some potential in him to pick him ahead of experienced duo of (Pawan) Negi and Washington Sundar.”
The call-up was completely unexpected for him as at first the team think-tank had decided to go for a seam-attack but skipper Kohli told Prayas of the debut just minutes before going for the toss, his father revealed.
“We were shocked to see his name in the line-up in RCB’s very third match. But he was not nervous,” his dad said. “He told me ‘this was not my standard. I could have done better.’ I told him not to lose heart and keep his focus. This is just the beginning for him. First, he has to cement his place in Bengal then look beyond.”
Prayas gave six runs in his maiden IPL over against the likes of Warner and Bairstow but things went haywire after that.
The senior Ray Barman said Prayas had a finger bruise that affected him in Sunday’s match. “He was not nervous. He told me the first over was okay but his finger got a bruise in the second over with the seam of the ball and he started bowling over pitch,” he said. “It was their (Sunrisers’) day. Two batsmen scoring hundreds is very rare in T20 cricket. It was an unforgettable day for all the RCB bowlers. None of them bowled well.”
At home congratulatory messages started pouring him after his name started flashing on TV and later began to trend on Twitter. “You are always lucky if you make full use of your first opportunity. All these congratulatory messages will mean only if he does well. He has to learn more, have to be more focused,” Ray Barman said.