Ashutosh Aman's tale of breaking idol's record

Ashutosh Aman would have hardly imagined that he would one day break a long-standing Ranji Trophy record held by his cricketing idol.

Ashutosh Aman claimed 68 wickets for Bihar in 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season.   -  Vijay Soneji

It’s a remarkable story. When Ashutosh Aman was young, he would travel a long way just to watch his idol and inspiration Bishan Singh Bedi guide the Jammu & Kashmir team.

“I would be too nervous to go up and talk to him. I would watch little things, see how Bedi sir bowled in the nets. He is the greatest of left-arm spinners and my hero,” Ashutosh told Sportstar here on Tuesday.

Little did Ashutosh imagine then that he would go on to break a long-standing Ranji Trophy record held by none other than Bedi.

The lanky left-arm spinner claimed 68 wickets for Bihar in 2018-19, the most wickets in a Ranji season by any bowler.

Bedi had held the record earlier with 64 scalps in the 1974-75 season for Delhi. 

There is no comparison between the feats though. Bedi bowled against some tough sides and several top notch batsmen while Ashutosh achieved his record in a rather weak Plate group with several first time Ranji participants this season.

The 32-year-old Indian Air Force employee was honest when he said, “Bedi was an all-time great. The quality of his bowling was something that we cannot aspire for.”

The Gaya-born Ashutosh, who turned out for Services in the Ranji Trophy before moving to his home state, is someone who relies much on his pace variations and use of the crease than sharp turn. Accuracy is his strength.

“I am not a big turner of the ball so I depend a lot on change of trajectory. And I have picked a lot of wickets with my arm ball,” he said.

His most memorable moment was dismissing Yashpal Singh, an accomplished domestic batsman, in both the innings, of the Ranji game against Manipur this season. The left-arm spinner said, “In the first innings I got him with an arm-ball and in the second, got one to turn and hit the off-stump.”

Ashutosh’s dream is to meet Bedi one day and talk cricket and spin bowling with him. “I am looking forward to it,” says the man who actually broke Bedi’s record. Strange are the ways of life!