The ongoing season of the Ranji Trophy could play a pivotal role in Abhimanyu Mithun's mission © IANS (File Photo)
The ongoing season of the Ranji Trophy could play a pivotal role in Abhimanyu Mithun’s mission © IANS (File Photo)

It has been quite a long time since we saw Indian speedstar Abhimanyu Mithun play international cricket for India. However, when it comes to any walk of life, ‘never say never’ is the policy followed by most cricketers around the world. The same can be said for Mithun who has indeed been working really hard of late to make a possible comeback to the international circuit. Mithun, who grew up playing cricket with tennis ball, believes that it has helped him develop and mature as a cricketer. The ongoing season of the Ranji Trophy could play a pivotal role in his mission. Abhimanyu Mithun gets engaged to Tamil actress’s daughter

“It all helped me [tennis ball cricket], if I have to think about it now because playing [with] tennis ball, maturing [you mature], it helps as a cricketer. I didn’t know I’m going to play so much of good level [of cricket]. I always believed in myself, I put in the hard work and I thought some or the other time it reaches [the hard work will help me reach] the highest level. So it is really good if I think about all the old days and now it is important how you take it forward from there,” said Mithun in an exclusive interview with Cricbuzz.

On being asked if he wanted to be a discuss thrower during his younger days, he said, “No, at a young age it all came naturally [discus throw]. I never thought I will play cricket so seriously. And it all came naturally. As I said, you don’t know what is going to happen in the future. I believed in myself and I put in the hard work, everyday, [and] today I’m here.”

Mithun once troubled Uttar Pradesh batsmen with his sheer yorkers in a game, to which he said, “Actually, after the game my coach came and told me [that is] Sanath Kumar told me that ‘you saved my name’ because the selectors didn’t want me to play the game, because they wanted a senior. Everyone thought I should play more junior state cricket. But after bowling that spell, Sanath sir came and told me ‘you saved my name because I pushed your name and all the selectors didn’t want you to play’. That really, I still today think about it. Sanath sir… whenever he meets me, always talks about it.” Manoj Tiwary safe after being hit by a bouncer from Abhimanyu Mithun

Speaking on his memory of collecting his Test cap from former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid, he said, “Seriously, because Rahul sir gave my Karnataka state cap and my Test cap. It has always been memorable for me. I always looked upto him as he is such a hardworking person and he is such an amazing person to talk with us, I always looked upto him. He is my role model as well… so it was great if I think about that incident that Rahul sir gave both my caps.”

Mithun had made sheer impact this season in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) which has boosted his chances of return, to which he says, “Yes, this season I’m thinking [about the comeback]… because we won all the consecutive trophies [Karnataka swept domestic titles across 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons]. But I never got any chance [at the national level] during that period of play. After that two years of winning trophies, then I pushed myself so I got injuries last two years and all. But now I know what exactly I’m doing. And lots of things I have changed and it is helping me a lot. Hopefully, this season goes well for me and I can make a comeback.”

Having played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL, he has received great inputs from South African spearhead Dale Steyn. “It is always. It was nice playing at RCB alongside him [Steyn] because you learn lots of things from a world No.1 bowler. So lot of things I learnt from him. The person he is, the hard work that he puts in. And he used to tell me during net [practice] as well. So it always really helped me,” he said.

Speaking on his Karnataka buddy Sreenath Aravind, he said, “We have always done really well together. When I started playing, all 3 [from the time] that I started from [my] first year, we played together. So, Vinay being the captain he always encouraged us. And the way he puts in the effort on the ground, that motivates us also to put in the effort and do well for Karnataka.”