Abhimanyu Easwaran has been named as a standby for the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final and five-match Test series against England. And this comes as a huge boost for the Bengal Ranji team captain because it shows the national selectors have been keeping a close eye on his progress. Easwaran had a steller 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season as he managed to score 861 runs, but the following season, disappointment followed as he scored just 258 runs from 17 innings. However, the selectors showed faith by first naming him as standby when England came to India and now he has retained his place in the standby list for the UK tour.
“Really excited and really delighted about the selection. For me, it will be more important to learn as much as I can and picking cue from other players who are really experienced and have been performing at the highest level for a long time. I guess it is just about becoming a better player when I come back,” said Easwaran.
When asked about his experience of being in the standbys when England came to India, Easwaran said: “I think the intensity of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at practice was amazing to watch. Everybody’s preparations were very specific on what they needed to do in the game. That was really important learning and they were very precise on what they wanted from the practice. I think that was good learning for me.
“There were few interactions about the preparation and how specific they were, the intensity at practice. These learnings were very important for me and how clear they were about the game plans they would have the next day. As we saw after the second Test, the wickets were turning quite a bit so I saw they were pretty clear in terms of the game plan and to see them do exactly that on the next day in the ground was pretty amazing,” he added.
Talking about how difficult it would be adjusting to red-ball cricket when there have been no long-format domestic matches due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Easwaran said: “I guess it was more about playing white-ball cricket because we did not have red-ball cricket this year. When I was with the Indian team and a week before that also, I started working on my red-ball game and for the past 10-12 days, I have been working on the long format. It is about bringing that discipline back.
“In ODI cricket, you tend to attack a bit more and there are balls in ODIs which you attack which probably would leave in Test cricket, it is about having that balance and just being disciplined about my batting,” he added.
The 25-year-old saw highs and lows quite early in his career as after scoring 861 runs in the 2018-19 season, he managed to score just 258 in the following season. But the youngster feels it was an important part of his journey.
“That was a really important phase in my career, when you do not score runs, it gets difficult and there can be negative thoughts. It is about believing in yourself and trusting your process and hard work that you have been doing for so many years. These phases give you the experience, I just take it one game at a time, I do not think about the result, if I can keep my process right, it gives me the best chance to score runs,” said Easwaran.
Talking about the challenges of bio-bubble in today’s age, Easwaran said: “It is a part of life now. A week’s quarantine first, you stay inside your rooms, you are not allowed to go out, sometimes that helps you also. Anyway, there is a lot of cricket going on so you get a week to yourself and you can relax and you can train inside your rooms.
“After a week, you get to meet your teammates, you are allowed to go to the team room. That is not such a big issue but not being able to go out, that’s difficult, but it is a part of life now, so we have to adjust,” he signed off.
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