Ranji Trophy: Triple-centurion Bisht happy with move to Meghalaya

Puneet Bisht, who shifted from Delhi to Meghalaya this season, ended the year on a high, hammering an unbeaten 301 — the highest individual score so far in the tournament — against Sikkim.

In the eight games this season, Bisht has amassed 850 runs and is now the third-highest scorer in the tournament.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

When Puneet Bisht shifted from Delhi to Meghalaya this season, he was not too sure how things will pan out. After all, he was leaving behind a solid cricketing culture in Delhi to explore Meghalaya, a state which was getting ready for its maiden brush with first-class cricket.

But on Monday, the 32-year-old realised his decision to move to a Plate division team was not bad after all. This edition of the Ranji Trophy has been fairly fruitful for him after he ended the year on a high, hammering an unbeaten 301 — the highest individual score so far in the tournament — against Sikkim.

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“It is a very good feeling to score big runs and I am quite happy,” Bisht told Sportstar from Bhubaneswar. His triple century came in 293 deliveries and on a wicket that helped the batsmen, Bisht made the most of a toothless Sikkim bowling attack. “Our prime target was to take a lead of 100-150 runs and to be honest, I never thought of scoring a triple century,” Bisht said.

Finishing on a high

In the eight games this season, Bisht has amassed 850 runs and is currently No. 3 in the list of highest run-scorers. But the seasoned campaigner, who has played almost 10 years of first-class cricket for Delhi — from 2006 to 2015 — is not bothered about records.

“This is our last game of the tournament and I wanted to end the season on a high. I am happy that I could perform in this match,” he said.

A couple of seasons ago, Bisht was left out of the Delhi team, and he moved to Jammu and Kashmir, where he played until last year. But things did not go too smooth in Jammu and Kashmir either. So, when an offer came from Meghalaya this time around, he lapped it up. “Playing first-class cricket is very important. I don’t know what will happen in the next two years but at the moment, I am happy with the way things have panned out,” he said.

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Added responsibility

Bisht was also named the vice-captain of the team and he admits it is a big responsibility. “In bigger teams like Delhi, you did not have too many responsibilities. There were many other people, but in smaller teams, you have to look after everything. Our team is young and new, so being a senior, you have to ensure that everyone feels comfortable,” he said. “That’s what I tried doing.”

On Monday, Bisht was ably supported by Raj Biswa, who scored 175. “It was his opportunity to come close to a double century. He played a very good knock and that partnership helped the team,” he said.

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Enjoy the game

Bisht does not consider the triple hundred his best knock. “I scored a double century against Baroda (in 2011) while playing for Delhi. I would rate that higher. It was a challenging innings and was very special,” he said.

When he broke into the Delhi side, way back in 2006, he was considered one of the brightest cricketers of the side, along with Virat Kohli.

His gritty knock of 156 against Karnataka in 2006 is still remembered by many. His partner in the match, Kohli has gone on to become India captain, but Bisht is aware the national call-up will never come his way.

“Everyone wants to play his best game. The rest is not in our hands. I still enjoy playing and want to keep going,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.