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  Sports   Cricket  20 May 2017  Rudra Dhanday wants to grind in longer format

Rudra Dhanday wants to grind in longer format

THE ASIAN AGE. | IRFAN HAJI
Published : May 20, 2017, 12:32 am IST
Updated : May 20, 2017, 12:32 am IST

After a stellar performance at the recently concluded Rizvi Champions Trophy, Mumbai Junior batsman Rudra Dhanday is aiming Ranji next.

Rudra Dhanday
 Rudra Dhanday

Mumbai Junior player Rudra Dhanday entered record books by slamming an unbeaten 67-ball 200 in the just concluded Abis Rizvi Champions Trophy Super-8 College T20 Cricket Tournament. The 19-year-old opening batsman had already hit T20 tons with his previous highest being 137 at Azad Maidan for Little Stars CC Powai.

“I want to play in the Mumbai Ranji team. I want to atleast break in the Ranji Probables for the coming season,” said Dhanday, who has represented Mumbai at the U- 16, U-19 level and now will be hoping to break into the U-23 team as the selection trials Madhav Mantri matches are underway. He scored 122 in the Cooch Behar U-19 Cup earlier last year against Uttar Pradesh at Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana Kandivali in the four-day final.

“I like the longer format but I couldn’t play it during school days as my team was in Plate Division so we played 45-over games only. But from College I started playing it and want make my mark,” said Dhanday who idolises former India cricketer Virender Sehwag and quite aptly.

The success at junior level hasn’t come instantly for the Powai resident. He had to slug it out in the Plate Division of MSSA school cricket for Bombay Scottish, Powai. He joined Rizvi Junior College as his father now assistant commissioner in the Customs Department wanted Rudra to be a cricketer after he himself had shelved his aspirations due to academics and better career then. He became his son’s first coach.

Rudra played in the Mumbai Under-16 but being overweight hampered his fielding and running between the wickets and selectors had a word with him.

“I weighed around 95-96 kilograms but after Under-16 selectors told me it is affecting your fielding. I worked on myself for more than year to bring it down to 74kg. I followed strict diet program and worked on myself hard with Mumbai Under-19 trainer Dinesh Suvarna and BKC trainer Amogh Pandit. I also did my own research on internet to lose weight without losing power,” he said.

Dhanday was later uncereminously dropped alongside Mukund Sardar from the 15-member squad on the eve of the departure of the Mumbai U-19 team to Pune for the Vinoo Mankad Trophy West Zone League in last October.

The innings at Matunga Gymkhana last weekend was power packed and perhaps career defining. Dhanday’s innings was studded with 21 boundaries and 15 sixes. The tournament was organised by University of Mumbai, under the aegis of Mumbai Cricket Association at the Matunga Gymkhana.

The highest score in an innings in professional cricket is held by Chris Gayle who had slammed 175 (66b) for Royal Challengers Bangalore against defunct Pune Warriors in Indian Premier League match in 2013.

Earlier this year, Mohit Ahlawat from Delhi became the first batsman for Delhi to score 300 in T20 cricket, however, it came in an unofficial match and at a relatively smaller ground.

“Dalmia College (rivals) had a strong batting line-up. They had two-three batsmen who represented Mumbai U-19 team. So we planned to score at least 200 and wanted to score heavily in power plays. I went after bowlers from the first ball and it came of nicely. Yes we had short boundary from one side but I never targeted that, my rhythm was good and I just went with the flow and played shots all around according to line and length of the ball. This knock was for my parents whose marriage anniversary was next day. They have worked hard on me,” he said.

Tags: rudra dhanday, mumbai ranji team