Nineteen-year-old Abishek Porel is ahead of his age in terms of handling pressure.

Even after forming a match-winning century stand with Shahbaz Ahmed to help Bengal record a come-from-behind win over Baroda in its opening Ranji Trophy match at the Barabati Stadium here, Abishek – who scored a half-century (53 not out) on debut – had his emotions in check.

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“I went in with a positive mindset. No matter whatever the situation, I play my natural game. I made a mistake (to be caught). I was lucky it was called a no ball. My intent was to play my natural game. Pressure was there but I love batting under pressure,” Porel, who was among the reserves for the under-19 World Cup-bound Indian side, told Sportstar .

“Shahbaz told me to play my natural game and guided me well. He gave good inputs about the pitch.”

Abishek’s fine performance hardly surprised his childhood coach Bibhas Das.

“I was optimistic about Abishek’s debut. He was disappointed as he had done well in Cooch Behar Trophy but did not get a chance in the under-19 World Cup (as he remained a reserve player). I boosted his spirits by telling him to prove his worth.

“He is a natural stroke player and plays according to the situation. Never comes under pressure. Normally, he bats up the order, but here he handled the situation well batting lower,” said Das.

“Abishek has a classic style of wicket-keeping. It is his passion. He needs to work on his footwork though. I will request Wriddhiman (Saha) to work with him.”

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Abishek, who followed in his cousin and Bengal seamer Ishan Porel’s footsteps in taking up cricket, said some advice from Ishan benefited him while playing at the elite domestic tournament.

“There are some differences between under-19 and senior levels. My brother advised me to be patient as there would not be too many easy deliveries.

“Senior players like Manoj (Tiwary), Shahbaz (Ahmed) and Abhimanyu (Easwaran) are all like friends and guide me well. It does not feel like I am among the seniors,” said Abishek, as he looks forward to a successful season.