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It was only his second game of the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013, but Rajasthan Royals’ 18-year old Sanju Vishwanadh presented a calm and composed front as he negotiated the Royal Challengers Bangalore attack. With a 41-ball 63, the slightly built lad from Kerala, played a pivotal role in chasing down a challenging total at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Monday.
The youngster who turned out for the Jaipur franchise this season, grabbed the opportunities he got with both hands and is an eager student. Sanju Vishwanadh has been soaking in everything he can, including aspects other than cricket from experienced campaigners around and is grateful for the chance to be able to do so.
Besides the veterans in his team, the youngster who loves his wicket-keeping as much as his batting equally, considers AB de Villiers his hero and looks forward to gaining more inputs from the South African player.
While speaking to iplt20.com after an impressive match winning knock, he shared his wish of hoping to chat with the RCB wicket-keeper-bat. Excerpts:
What was it like batting out there and what was the plan while chasing?
The score was a bit challenging so I just enjoyed the challenge and played. We have a very good batting line-up so I wasn’t worried and just backed myself. The coach and captain had already told me I would bat up the order so I had planned my innings and I executed it well. It was my day so I did well.
What was Shane Watson telling you while in the middle?
It was nice to bat with Watson. He just said to back my abilities and keep going. I am very happy with my innings.
What is your natural game what are the shots you like to play besides the one towards extra cover?
I love to attack. And I love to play the cover drive and on drive as well.
You played something like a ‘dilscoop’. Tell us about innovations that you make while batting?
(Laughs) If I am settled, I am used to playing that those kinds of shots.
You mentioned that AB de Villiers is your favourite batsman and wicket-keeper, have you had a chance to speak to AB?
When we went to Bangalore I spoke to him for about five-ten minutes. He told me that he wants to see me bat a bit more so on Monday he would have seen me and I hope I get my wish of chatting him up.
What is it like to keep to overseas players like James Faulkner and Shaun Tait?
Since I have kept to them in practice matches it was okay. I just try to keep low and focus on the bowling.
What are the lessons that you have learnt being with Rajasthan Royals so far?
I will have to say that apart from cricket I have learnt how to become a good human being. You can see a lot of players, legends in the team like Rahul Dravid, Brad Hodge and everyone in the team, they are very beautiful human beings and speak very well. I have learnt a lot from that and about cricket too, I have gained lots of knowledge.
It was yet another thrilling finish, another last over hungama in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 that had the spectators on the edge of their seats on Monday evening. And the player who set up the scintillating contest was Royal Challengers Bangalore’sVinay Kumar.
The 29-year old’s efforts to work on his batting paid off as he smashed 22 off six deliveries to set the opposition a 172-run target. Kumar sent Purple Cap holder James Faulkner sailing over the ropes thrice in the last over after the visitors were put in to bat by Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
However, the Royals’ batters put up a confident performance and capitalised on the chances they got. Young Sanju Vishwanadh kept the Rahul Dravid-led side in the game and the seniors batted around him to snatch victory.
While speaking to iplt20.com after yet another away loss, Vinay Kumar reflected on the game and lauded Sanju’s efforts.
Excerpts from the interview:
Your knock helped make a match of it. And then to come back and try to defend the target in the last over, do the previous experiences of similar situations help?
Regarding my batting, I am concentrating more also because the lower order batsmen’s contributions are crucial for the team.
I love to bowl in the death but unfortunately again we lost the game. It would have been... I would say a bit unlucky, like on the first ball Rahul (Dravid’s) catch went down. We have a superb fielding side but these things happen. But we need to forget this as soon as possible and come back harder for the remaining games.
How crucial was Shane Watson’s wicket and then Owais Shah’s run out in the last over for your confidence and to keep RCB in contention?
It had boiled down to a run-a-ball game, one or two wickets always puts pressure on the batsmen and that is beauty of this format. And yes after getting Watson’s wicket we were back in the game.
What would you reckon was par score for the game?
It was good actually; 170-odd was good for us to defend but we went for more runs and lost the game.
What are your thoughts on Sanju Vishwanadh’s knock and what was your experience playing against him in the domestic circuit?
Frankly I didn’t know much about him. In the one or two games that I have played against him, we got him out early. He played really well and with the kind of shots he played he has a bright future.
Watson’s innings was crucial in the chase but after you got his wicket, what would you say helped the opposition?
Chasing is a bit easier in evening games because once the dew starts coming in, the wicket will bond a bit more and the ball comes onto the bat. Watson is a good batsman, they got a good start and they made the best use of that.
Since James Faulkner has been performing consistently for RR and had also claimed a fiver in the previous match, had you prepared differently to negotiate him?
In the last over anyone would have gone for the big shots and fortunately the shots connected well and that gave us 22 runs in the last over; that helped to take the match till the end. And yes he is a good bowler but in this format you can’t depend on previous performances, you need to go ahead keep trying different things, every ball is different and three balls can change your analysis (smiles).
What makes most teams stronger at home?
Home teams know the wicket well and the score required in their backyard and it is a disadvantage for the visitors as more adjustments need to be made. In this format if you commit a mistake you can’t come back easily, so knowing the wicket always helps.