Off-season work key to Baba Aparajith's improved showing

Aparajith was among the top run-getters in the Vijay Hazare Trophy (598 runs) and the highest scorer in the Deodhar Trophy with 167 runs in three innings.

Baba Aparajith starred with the bat in Tamil Nadu's run to the Vijay Hazare Trophy final.   -  PTI

Shaking off two forgettable seasons, Baba Aparajith is back among runs in the domestic one-dayers and looks forward to continue his good touch.

Aparajith, who was among the top run-getters in the Vijay Hazare Trophy (598 in 12 matches) and the highest scorer in Deodhar Trophy (167 in three), said his preparation in the off-season benefited him.

“I prepared really well in the off season focusing on both fitness and skills. That aspect is helping me now. I have even worked on bowling during the off-season,” said Aparajith, who was part of the India ‘B’ side that lifted the Deodhar Trophy here on Monday.

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Aparajith – who has scored 3660 runs at 39.35 in 70 first class matches and 2887 runs at 43.74 in 77 List ‘A’ matches apart from taking 42 and 43 wickets respectively with his off-breaks – said he needed to continue doing the good work.

“Nothing will come easy, so I have to keep performing and be in the process. It is important for me to score a lot of runs – not only one tournament, but in T20s and Ranji Trophy as well.

“Last two seasons were not great for me, but now I have performed well in consecutive matches. That consistency I should carry forward in all formats.

“If I keep doing well, one day that (India selection) will happen. For me it is important to perform in every match—batting, bowling or fielding, contribute in every match.”

The 25-year-old Tamil Nadu all-rounder said the challenges he has faced in his eight-year-old career made him a mature cricketer.

“With experience, you keep evolving as a player. From where I started, I am able to handle situations and challenges better than before.”

Aparajith’s goal is to get better every year. “I have been working on my batting…This year I wanted to get better in the technical part. I wanted to be a well-rounded batsman, have (more) organised batting. That was my goal. From last year I wanted to be 15-20 per cent better.”

Aparajith was thankful for having a twin brother, Baba Indrajith, who also played for his state. “We exchange ideas. Not many people have that advantage.”

About his targets in the forthcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Ranji Trophy, Aparajith said, “I am going match by match. I need to be in the present and concentrate on what I am doing.”