regular-article-logo Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Abhimanyu Easwaran’s knocks get louder

Bengal batter, though, is keener on extending his rich run of form instead of thinking about selection in the Indian team

Sayak Banerjee Calcutta Published 03.01.23, 04:56 AM
Abhimanyu Easwaran during a Ranji game.

Abhimanyu Easwaran during a Ranji game. File picture

Centuries in each of his last three red-ball appearances have kept Bengal batter Abhimanyu Easwaran in the hunt for a spot in India’s Test set-up.

And, if one takes into account his 122 versus Services in the limited overs Vijay Hazare Trophy in November, it’s been four centuries on the trot for Easwaran.


The 27-year-old right-hander then followed it up with innings of 141 and 157 for India A against Bangladesh A in Cox’s Bazar and Sylhet, respectively, and followed those up with another fluent 170 for Bengal in their innings win over Nagaland in the Ranji Trophy game at Sovima, Dimapur, last week.

Easwaran, being a backup opener in the recent Bangladesh Tests owing to regular captain Rohit Sharma’s absence, did come close to featuring in the XI in the second game in Mirpur although the Indian team management reposed faith in the KL Rahul-Shubman Gill opening combination.

But neither opener has been consistent enough. If Easwaran, banking on his current form, scores another big one in the game against Uttarakhand beginning on Tuesday at Dehradun and the ones thereafter, that could certainly strengthen his case before the home Tests against Australia in February and March.

Easwaran, though, is keener on extending his rich run of form instead of thinking about selection in the Indian team. “Well, selection is not in my control, so it’s better not to worry about it,” he told The Telegraph.

“What matters for me is how well I keep batting and the need to score as many runs as possible to contribute to my team’s cause. That’s what I would be focusing on in this new year: just keep working hard and do what’s required of me. Consistency is vital for me as the rest will then take care of itself,” Easwaran emphasised.

Elaborating on his current form and if he has made any changes in his batting or approach, he said: “I’ve worked on a few things in my batting. Like, I’m making sure I get into good positions, which is helping me middle the ball well.

“I would say this has been key to the recent scores I’ve been able to register.”

Easwaran has been relieved of captaincy, with senior pro-Manoj Tiwary back in charge of the Bengal team in the ongoing Ranji Trophy. “I don’t think the captaincy factor has got anything to do with my current performances,” he said.

“As I said, it’s because of the good positions I’m getting into and middling the ball well that these (big) scores are coming. As for captaincy, that’s something I enjoyed doing,” he added.

Home comfort

Easwaran is back home though for an away game for Bengal against the Group A toppers. The venue in Dehradun — Abhimanyu Cricket Academy ground (owned by his father) — is where he grew up learning about the game.

“Of course, it’s nice to be back home as I get to meet my family members. But in terms of the game, it’s an away match for me too as I haven’t played here for quite some time,” Easwaran said.

A match-winning knock at home will make the occasion all the more special.

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