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Hoshedar N. Gundevia in Chennai 28 May 2012 - 05:23am IST

IPL has given me confidence: Mandeep

Citi Rising Star wants to build on this year’s performance

A talent that shone through the brightest in IPL 2012 was Kings XI Punjab opener Mandeep Singh. The right-hander impressed both fans and critics with his masterful batting displays against some of the best in the business. With 432 runs this season, the 20-year-old was the highest run-getter for KXIP ahead of more seasoned campaigners like Shaun Marsh and David Hussey. Adjudged the Citi Rising Star of the IPL, Mandeep revealed his joy at receiving this honour amongst such august company. The IPL final served as the perfect opportunity for the youngster to witness firsthand the pressure and excitement of a big game. With aspirations of an IPL final appearance in the near future, Mandeep expressed his joy at Kolkata Knight Riders’ title win.

You’ve been adjudged as the best young performer this season. What does that mean to you?


It feels very good. As a junior player, you wish to win this Citi Rising Star in the IPL. I really worked hard for this and it feels good.

What sort of support did David Hussey and Adam Gilchrist give you?


Both really inspire, especially the youngsters. They gave me an opportunity to bat in the top order and I wanted to make use of this opportunity, which would be good for the team also. I am a little disappointed that I scored a lot of 20s and 30s, and next year I would want to convert them into 60s or 70s.

Who do you look up to in terms of batting?


I have always watched Sachin Tendulkar. No one can be like him, but I have always tried to be somewhat like him.

Do you think you can make it to the final some day?


If we play to our potential, we can really make it to the final. I am happy for KKR, because it is my ex-team.

What’s the best part about the IPL for a youngster like you?


Best opportunity is to get international exposure. You get to play Morne Morkel or Dale Steyn who you don’t get to play at the domestic level. It gets very difficult if you play for India from the domestic level; and I have played them [international players] this season, which has done a lot to my confidence level.

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