Abhimanyu Mithun: Young batsmen should take responsibility for Karnataka

The void left by the absence of star batsmen should be filled by the young, promising batsmen in the line-up, says the fast bowler.

Karnataka has been a good bowling unit for many years, notes Abhimanyu Mithun.   -  special arrangement

The young, promising batsmen coming into the Karnataka State squad should “take responsibility” in the absence of star batsmen like K. L. Rahul, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal, according to Karnataka pacer Abhimanyu Mithun.

Karnataka’s run in the Ranji Trophy ended with a five-wicket defeat to Saurashtra in the semifinals. That the top-order batsmen failed to score heavily this season has also been pointed out by Karnataka coach Yere Goud.

“If players like Karun Nair [and] Mayank Agarwal are available, we obviously are a very good batting side. If they are not, we need youngsters coming in to take that responsibility,” he said here on Saturday.

‘Very good bowling unit’

Mithun was excited about the bowling unit and the team’s standout batsman of the season, K. V. Siddharth. “It was really good to see K. V. Siddharth coming out and scoring. There were so many India A and India players — like, Karun, Samarth [et al] — but he still stood out.

“And, with regards to bowling, I think Karnataka has so many years been a very good bowling unit. Vinay Kumar, S. Aravind and I came into the picture at around the same time. Aravind retired last year and youngsters like Ronit More and Prasidh Krishna have taken his role and stood out. If you see Prasidh, when he had chances last year, he went on to play for India A. And he was in the reckoning for the India team. And this year, More has had standout performances in so many games.

“That gives confidence to lot of youngsters who are coming into the State side. They see a lot of players play well for the State team and go on to play for India A and India, so they also want to perform individually and show the talent. And it’s really good to see a lot of youngsters bowling quick and performing for the State side.”

Promising show

On Karnataka’s second successive semifinal heartbreak, he said: “This year was different because we had a very young side. There were a lot of new players and very few seniors in the team. So, getting into the semifinals was a big boost for everyone and gave the youngsters a lot of confidence. Playing semifinal in the first year (for some players), was a huge achievement. A lot of youngsters showed they weren’t nervous at that level. It was a positive.”

Abhimanyu Mithun on Vinay Kumar (in picture): "Whenever he's played, he's given his heart out." Photo: Prashant Nakwe

 

Asked about a couple of decisions that went against the team in the semifinal, he said: “We did really well, we played a very good game. But, obviously, we can’t control the [umpiring] decisions.”

He said Vinay Kumar doesn’t feel any pressure of being the senior-most bowler and that he “takes it as a challenge.”

Fighting spirit

“Whenever he's played he's given his heart out. I’ve seen how he fights on the field. That’s his thing — the way he fights on the field. A lot of people get motivated seeing it. I think he didn’t want to captain the team (in the recent season) because he just wanted to focus on his batting and bowling and do them better. He’s been doing it really well till now. So, hopefully he does it for a few more years.”

The 29-year-old said his new training regimen at R. Accelerate here in Chennai (he started training here before the season) is now helping him perform better. “Last year, I wanted to change my training. That’s when I came to Rajamani (head trainer at R. Accelerate). He monitored and changed a lot of things and that helped me during the season. I’m still following them. The way I trained for the last few years and how I'm training now are totally different. The primary highlight of this training is that it has helped me with recovery. When we play, bowl so many overs, we obviously feel body fatigue. I don't feel it much now compared how I used to feel in the last few years.”