The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I took criticism seriously: Haldipur

Calcutta: As the others trudged back to the dressing room after a gruelling practice session, a 24-year old left-hander asked the assistant coach Satinder Singh for some extra practice against short-pitched stuff on the concrete surface.

Thats Nikhil Haldipur of 2003, ready to give the extra yard. I had been criticised a lot about my lack of effort. But I have taken all those criticism positively and worked hard, Nikhil said Sunday.

The stylish left-hander has already got a couple of good scores to his credit after being left out in the first game.

His 100 against Tamil Nadu helped Bengal set up a good total on the board, from where they could call the shots.

He had often been criticised for playing rash strokes after getting set, and that is one area he is working on.

I have become much more cautious about my shot selection, Nikhil said. But he rubbished claims that there has been a lack of effort. Ive always given my 100 per cent. Never have I lost the focus.

Whats making the difference is Im turning the 30-40s into big scores. The century in the last game has given me immense confidence, he said. Nikhil argued that he had scored whenever he has got the chance.

Last season, I scored a 60-odd against Andhra Pradesh when the chips were down. Was he surprised at not being included in the Bengal squad straightaway this season'

Its time to look ahead, he said. Nikhil made a special mention about coach Karsan Ghavri, who has always backed him to the hilt.

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