It was sheer grit, patience and determination that saw Anmolpreet Singh dominate the first day’s play in the Duleep Trophy Final.

Coming into bat at a precarious 107/4, Anmolpreet’s first task was to stabilise the wobbling India Blue ship.

READ: Duleep Trophy Final: Anmolpreet puts India Blue in command

As he built his innings, mixed with caution and aggression, Anmolpreet’s mental toughness came to the fore. Just into his second first-class season, the Punjab player took the challenge like how a fish does to water.

Few who watched him bat on Tuesday wouldn’t be surprised to note that the Punjab batsman was the leading run-scorer for his state in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season, with a highest score of 267.

He had all the qualities a middle order batsman should possess and displayed them in abundance.

Playing a sport at the highest level needs mental toughness and the 20-year-old isn’t new to the fact. His father, Satinder Pal Singh was a handball player for India for almost a decade and a half.

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“I probably learnt to be tough from my father. He is my part-time coach and more than cricket, it is the mental toughness that I have learnt from him,” Anmolpreet said, after his 96 in the Duleep Trophy final.

He added 144 runs with Ricky Bhui for the fifth wicket and the duo was keen to take the challenge over by over.

“We knew we had to bail the team out. The wicket was a tough one to bat on. It was slow and the ball wasn’t coming on as much as we would have liked. We took it slow, over by over and then once we were set, it was a matter of taking the aggressive route,” he explained.

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Anmolpreet isn’t new to playing long innings. He has two double centuries to his credit in the last season at an average of 94.62, having raked up 757 runs in six matches.

“The hunger to score is always there. More the runs, merrier it is. You have to score runs to get noticed and that is how I take my game,” he said.

The India Blue batsman is happy to see his team take the first day’s honours. “We have a decent score. It is all about taking the first session positively tomorrow and if we do that we can have a stronghold on the match,” he added.