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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

Rahul Tripathi wants to be 5th time lucky

'On my part, I need to keep myself ready when the time comes and I’m doing exactly so'

Sayak Banerjee Calcutta Published 01.01.23, 04:19 AM
Rahul Tripathi.

Rahul Tripathi. File picture

As many as four India call-ups in 2022, but no international debut yet. That has been the story of Rahul Tripathi.

Since the Ireland tour in June, he has been picked for the series in Zimbabwe, the home ODIs versus South Africa and most recently the one-day series in Bangladesh, but the India cap has remained elusive for the 31-year-old.

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Having been again included in the squad for the upcoming T20Is against Sri Lanka, beginning in Mumbai on Tuesday, a patient Tripathi is hoping he will be fifth time lucky. “It’s the fifth time that I got an India call-up this year. And I’m still quite excited,” the Maharashtra and Sunrisers Hyderabad top-order batsman told The Telegraph from Vizianagram, where he was playing the Ranji Trophy game versus Andhra.

“See, it’s always exciting to be in the Indian team and around these guys. Yes, I haven’t been a part of the XI yet, but I’m very confident of my opportunity coming quite soon.

“On my part, I need to keep myself ready when the time comes and I’m doing exactly so,” Tripathi said.

Being within the set-up and the environment also helps a player in his maturity, Tripathi emphasised.

“I’ve definitely had some gains by just being a part of the set-up,” he said. “When you’re in such an environment, you get to see and learn from those individuals who have established themselves internationally and how they go about their preparation. That experience counts.

“Also, when you are practising at nets, you have the coaches around you and they come up with their share of advice. So as I said, you’ve just got to be a bit patient and wait for your turn.”

The Ranji season so far has been a quiet one for Tripathi. The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy also didn’t go too well for him as he scored just one fifty there. But in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he smashed three back-to-back centuries, remaining unbeaten twice (against Mumbai and Mizoram) and hit two fifties as well, aggregating 524 runs in eight matches at an average of 87.33.

Maharashtra missed Tripathi in the final against Saurashtra as he was then in Bangladesh for the ODIs. “I did well in the IPL and for my state, those three centuries certainly stood out,” Tripathi, analysing his performance in 2022, said.

“Going forward, I just want to keep working hard, score more runs and look to play some matches for India.”

Lara presence

Tripathi acknowledged that the inclusion of Brian Lara — strategic adviser and batting coach for Sunrisers during IPL 2022 and currently their head coach — has helped in his progress as a batsman.

“Obviously, the presence of such legends during training sessions is very helpful and the tips they provide help you to make those small adjustments matter a lot. You can see the outcome when batting in the game,” Tripathi said.

The Sunrisers finished third from bottom in IPL 2022. But Tripathi was impressive, being their second-highest run-getter (413) after opener Abhishek Sharma (426).

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