Ranji Trophy: Rawat gives Delhi an opening
Written by Vishal Menon
| New Delhi |

Published: February 7, 2020 1:55:38 am


Ranji Trophy, Rani Trophy Delhi vs Gujarat, Delhi vs Gujarat Ranji Trophy, Ranji Trophy Gujarat vs Delhi, Cricket news, sports news, Indian Express Anuj Rawat made 133 off 194 balls towards Gujarat. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

Delhi wicketkeeper Anuj Rawat made his first-class debut in October 2017. In the following two seasons, spanning 18 matches, the staff administration has shuffled him up and down the order — from an opener to a decrease middle-order batsman. And every time the incumbent Rishabh Pant returns to the fray, Rawat is included within the staff as a batsman. This fixed chopping and altering has performed a component in his below-par profession numbers — 877 runs at an common of simply over 30.

These numbers counsel that the teen is but to understand his full potential on this format. On Thursday, he confirmed what he’s able to when he walked out to bat as an opener. Against Gujarat on the Feroz Shah Kotla, Rawat introduced up his second first-class century and gave his staff an opportunity of going for a win. His good counter-attacking knock of 133 was laced with 15 boundaries and two sixes. The circumstances underneath which he showcased this knock makes it extra particular. Delhi had conceded a vital 42-run first-innings lead after Gujarat have been bowled out for 335. Support got here within the type of Jonty Sidhu’s unbeaten 96-ball 44. Together, their 106-run fourth-wicket alliance took them to a reasonably snug 228/Four at stumps on Day Three — their total lead swelling to 186 runs.

However, he admits that enjoying within the opening slot gives him utmost satisfaction. “That’s the slot where I love to bat. It frees me from the pressures of batting down the order,” he quips.

In this season, he has featured in seven matches. But it’s as an opener that he’s orchestrated extremely impactful knocks. Before Thursday, he produced a well-compiled 87 within the opening fixture towards Kerala. That match could have meandered right into a draw however Rawat’s was a standout innings. Rawat’s all-round efforts are extremely commendable. He led his staff’s cost on Thursday after retaining for over 86 overs, after which batted for 63 overs. It simply exhibits the type of stamina the teen possesses. When requested about his efforts as we speak, the 20-year-old had solely this to say: “The results are there for everyone to see.”

The former India U-19 captain will now be hoping that this innings is a catalyst of change. For that to occur, he would do nicely to develop into extra constant. “This is a team of youngsters. Barring Dhruv Shorey and Nitish Rana, the rest of our order is very fluid. But I would love to bat in one particular slot for a sustained period,” he says.

Going ahead, Rawat want to develop into much more constant on this format — one thing that would earn him call-ups to India A excursions sooner or later. The excellent news is that even Rahul Dravid, the National Cricket Academy director has earmarked him because the participant for the longer term. On Thursday, he could have survived two dropped catches early in his innings. But there’s little denying that it was an innings that has given Delhi hope of going for a win on the ultimate day. “We will assess the conditions in the morning. The truth is that we don’t have a target in our minds. The morning session tomorrow will be crucial.” he says.

Rawat will not be off the mark. With the winter in full bloom, pacers from each groups have held sway in these three days’ play. On Day 1, Gujarat’s bowlers picked up three wickets within the opening session. The second day accounted for 5 scalps, whereas the third day noticed as many as six wickets. Such was the situation that even Rana bowled navy medium seam-ups as we speak, and picked up two wickets.

The match remains to be tantalisingly poised. If Delhi’s batsmen maintain fort within the first session, it’s going to give the house staff a sensible likelihood of going for a win. Rawat, although, stays optimistic. “The wicket is good for batting but it is slightly up and down at times. But yes, bowlers need to bend their backs for getting rewards,” he concludes.

Brief Scores: Delhi 293 and 228/4 (Anuj Rawat 133, Jonty Sidhu 48) lead Gujarat 335 (Manprit Juneja 124, Dhruv Raval 94) by 186 runs.

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