It was Rahul Tripathi, who scored a half-century at his home turf for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS)    BCCI
It was Rahul Tripathi, who scored a half-century at his home turf for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) BCCI

You may think Indian Premier League (IPL) is all about entertaining fans with some intense matches in the shortest format of the game. Apart from the entertainment, the tournament also provides a fair amount of glimpse of the upcoming talents from Indian domestic cricket. It was the same on Saturday, when a fresh batsman from Maharashtra came out to bat for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the ongoing IPL 2017 against defending Champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Local boy Rahul Tripathi scored a crucial half-century at his home turf. Ajinkya Rahane interviewed him following Pune’s win. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Match 24 at Pune

“I felt extremely nice. Firstly, opening with you was a great experience for me. I tried to see how the ball is behaving in one or two overs and then go and play shots as we required a run rate of 9 per over. I tried to go big on the loose deliveries and give the team a good start in the first six overs as we have been doing in the last couple of games. I can go on and on about this as it one such experience for me where I am learning with each passing day,” said Tripathi in an exclusive interview to iplt20.

“When I play with you in the nets, I keep a close watch on the smallest of techniques that you apply while batting. With Steve, he brings in his different style of play and when Mahi bhai comes to the ground, all you hear is the crowd chanting Dhoni Dhoni . That s the kind of aura he has. For me it is a great learning curve as all the hard work I have put in at club cricket. I only want to improve on it by learning how much ever I can with you people being around,” he added.

“When the two of us open, being at the non-striker s end and watching you play a shot with the straight bat is a learning for me. Also, the conversation in the middle, when you tell me things like achcha jaa rahe ho [you’re doing good] automatically brings in that confidence in me to go out and perform,” Tripathi added.

Speaking on how MS Dhoni inspired him, Tripathi said, “When I used to watch Mahi-bhai finish games on television, it looked as if it was an easy task, but after having spent time with him on and off the field, I realise that his level of calmness under pressure is what one needs to learn. The kind of shots that he played today as soon as he came out in the middle were unbelievable. I can only keep learning as much as I can in his presence.”

When Rahane asked Tripathi on his experience while opening alongside him, he confidently said, “I was pretty excited to open with you. With each player you get to learn something or the other. I did watch you bat in the nets and watched you play a few shots; therefore, when I got to know that you will be opening the innings with me, I was quite eager to go out there and bat with you. I always believe that you can learn something or the other from your partner and I did learn a lot from the kind of innings that you played today.”

Tripathi also went on to describe regarding his cricketing techniques and if he is tempted to play big in this format of the game: “It does happen a lot of times when I m tempted to play such shots, especially in the first six overs when you know you have to score the maximum amount of runs. But, my style of batting is different, as my strength is timing and I focus more on that. Even in the nets I focus more on my shape while batting and the balance while playing the shot and that I believe has proved successful for me.

“Also, I would like to add that IPL is a platform which provides the youngsters with a lot of opportunity. The young guns get a chance to perform in front of international bowlers and learn from them. In our team we have Rahul, then there are the Pandya brothers in Mumbai Indians, Rishabh Pant in Delhi Daredevils; these boys have been performing well this season. Personally, I feel that I got to learn a lot because of IPL as I had first come in as a fairly young cricketer and got an opportunity to learn from the best in the business.”