Fearless Rahul hopes to make a mark

It indeed has been a breakout year for Rahul Tripathi. The 26-year-old Maharashtra batsman rocked for Rising Pune Supergiant at the top of the order in IPL-10.

Tripathi has been around for a while, having made his Ranji debut for Maharashta against Baroda in 2012.   -  AFP

He’s aggressive, fearless and does dismiss the bowling ruthlessly. This right-hander has been making all the right moves this season.

It indeed has been a breakout year for Rahul Tripathi. The 26-year-old Maharashtra batsman rocked for Rising Pune Supergiant at the top of the order in IPL-10.

Now, Triptahi is here in the city to take part in the TNCA first division league, representing India Pistons. He wants to excel in the game’s longer version too.

He said to Sportstar on Monday, “I have heard a lot about the standard of cricket here. The league is well organised and hard fought. Playing here will be a good preparation for me ahead of the Ranji season.”

Tripathi felt the spinner-friendly surfaces in Chennai would also be different from the livelier tracks in Pune where he is based.

Actually, Tripathi has been around for a while, having made his Ranji debut for Maharashta against Baroda in 2012. And unlike his IPL avatar, he has been a middle-order batsman for his State side.

But then, it has only been in the IPL that he has really been noticed. Tripathi wants to carry the momentum to the other forms of the game as well.

Tripathi has many memories of his thumping IPL season, where he played and shared dressing room with many celebrated players such as M.S. Dhoni and Steve Smith. “I remember Dhoni bhai advising me ahead of my maiden IPL game. He told me ‘just take it as another game, an opportunity rather than put pressure on yourself.’ It worked.”

Tripathi also recalled striking the first ball he faced in IPL – from South Africa and Daredevils paceman Chris Morris – for a boundary. “Morris glared at me and said some things to me. I ignored it.”

The busy batsman, whose inspirations are Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, does not get intimidated by names.

Asked about his participation in the TNPL, he responded, “We will go with the BCCI decision.”

In the coming season, there could be more to come from Tripathi.