Abhimanyu Easwaran roared to form with a fluent unbeaten century against India Green in the Duleep Trophy final at M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.
After a particularly rough run that has seen him get out for nought in three of the last four matches including his India A assignments, the India Red opener dominated the bowlers to reach his 13th first-class century on Thursday.
Asked if he tried something different for the game, the 23-year-old said: “I think I prepared the same way for every game and I tried to look at it as one more game. I don’t really look back at the past, I was just trying to stay in the present and play one game at a time. I knew I was batting well. It was a matter of one knock and it happened today in the finals.”
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He, however, revealed a change in his approach after constantly failing to score big despite starts last season. “I started my season with a couple of 70s and 80s and a couple of 50s but I wasn’t getting the big scores. Rahul Dravid sir (when he was the India A coach), my coach Apoorva Desai and I decided to focus on what I need to do right now in the game. It doesn’t matter what my score is, what matters is what I need to do for my team now. Maybe I was trying too much after 60, trying to dominate. But I’m trying to stay in the present and play according to the situation,” he said.
He not only stayed in the present, but also dominated the bowlers, whipping them for eleven boundaries and two sixes in his unbeaten 102-run essay; no other batsman has hit a six in the final yet. He elaborated on his game plan: “I think the wicket was playing really well and it wasn’t turning too much. If I can put pressure on the bowlers initially when they come for their spell, I have a better chance of dominating them throughout their spell. It would also mean the fast bowlers would come back again and they were tired, so I would get runs. It was a part of the plan.”
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On being appointed the captain of Bengal team across formats recently, he said: ”I think representing Bengal is an honour for me and captaining Bengal is a bigger honour. So, I would really like to enjoy the challenge and take responsibility and lead from the front,” he said.
Abhimanyu didn’t raise his bat in celebration immediately after reaching his century; he shuffled around in his pocket for something, which he later revealed to a rakhi, and dedicated the century to his sister Pallavi.