Vishesh Bhriguvanshi has just completed his warm-down after a tantalising second round league match against Indian Railways at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in the Senior National basketball championships.

There are quite a few young boys and girls who are keen to get photographed with him. As always, he obliges. Then a boy whispers to his friend, “I love his game. It is attractive.”

Bhriguvanshi has been playing a solid and attractive game without frills in the Senior Nationals.

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His importance for his domestic team, Uttarakhand, cannot be overstated. Just when the match against Indian Railways on Wednesday went into extra time, he took charge like a true captain.

Holding the ball like a point guard at one point, scoring layups like a power forward at another time, his performance made the difference in Uttarakhand's victory. He showcased his value as a true all-rounder.

And as a captain of the Indian men’s team, too, for the forthcoming Window II of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers and Asia Cup, a qualifying event for the Asian Games, Bhriguvanshi’s responsibilities are manifold. The 30-year-old is confident that India will perform well.

“We have good expectations [from World Cup Asia Qualifiers & Asia Cup]. We are in a tough group with Lebanon, New Zealand and the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Cup. And in the World Cup Qualifiers, we have progressed to the second round. We will try to win all the games, if not we will take the experiences,” he said.

Bhriguvanshi is enjoying his stay with the Indian team and reiterated that the side is  improving. “It’s going good. The Indian team coach Veselin Matic loves me, still expects a lot from me. I have to give more than 100 per cent to the team. In 2016-17, we played well and in ‘18-19, too, we played pretty well. Now we have qualified for the Asia Cup and FIBA World Cup Asia Cup second round. We played well against the Philippines in the World Cup Asia Qualifiers. We will try to beat the Philippines in the next round. New Zealand is always a strong team,” he said.

Bhriguvanshi is not keen on playing in a foreign league as he feels that with the Indian National League coming up in the future, there is no need for him head abroad.

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“Now the National league is going to happen in India, why should I take part in foreign leagues?”

The inclusion of Australia and other Oceania teams in the Asian zone has made Asian teams pull up their socks and perform better. “It is tough for Asian countries. Now we are playing Oceania teams also. It is tough for Asian countries like Iran and China. They were powerhouses and they are also struggling. Australia, a bronze medallist team in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics is a very good team. They are making Asian teams better. We will definitely do well,” he said.

Bhriguvanshi believes his best is yet to come. “There is no age. I am just thinking If I am fit, there is no question of age. At the NBA, players play till 35," he said.

Bhriguvanshi, who has played for India in more than 40 international tournaments and has been the captain of the Indian team for nearly four years, has confidence and faith in the Indian team. His target will be to get back into the top 8 in Asia. His formula is simple. “I should perform well and the team also should perform well."