Ranji top-scorer Milind Kumar second fastest to 1000 runs

Milind Kumar, on Friday, reached the 1,000-run mark in just nine innings, joint second behind Rusitomji Sheriyar Modi.

Milind Kumar has enlisted himself for the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, which will be held in Jaipur next Tuesday.   -  special arrangement

Milind Kumar has never heard of Rusitomji Sheriyar Modi. But the young batsman, who shifted from Delhi to Sikkim in this edition of the Ranji Trophy, on Friday, reached the 1,000-run mark in just nine innings, joint second with S. Sriram and W.V. Raman behind Modi.

In the 1944-45 season, Modi had crossed the 1,000-run mark (1,008 runs) in just seven innings. Taking on Mizoram in a Plate Group match, Milind hammered 139, which made him the top-scorer of the tournament with 1,017 runs.

“It has been a great ride so far and I hope to keep this going. For me, every opportunity counts,” Milind told Sportstar.

After being left out of the Delhi team in the middle of the season last year, Kumar moved to Sikkim as a professional guest player.

It has been a spectacular journey for the right-hand batsman, who has slammed two double centuries and a couple of tons. “My target is simple: score as much as you can. Whatever opportunities come my way, I try to utilise them and this strategy has worked,” he said.

With all the teams—except Bihar—playing Ranji Trophy for the first time, most players are inexperienced. Does that make things easy for someone like Kumar, who has enough experience of first-class cricket?

“It is not easy to score, no matter who the opponent is. It is about how you react to the situation and execute the plans,” he said. “It is about having faith in yourself. The teams are young but they have some really talented players and it is certainly not easy to play them. So, you have to be cautious and wait for the right moment to score runs,” Milind added.

The 27-year-old Milind had featured in 29 first-class, 51 List A and 41 T20s for Delhi before shifting base. Having been in the circuit for nearly eight years, Kumar has a fair idea about the four-day structure.

He has also enlisted himself for the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, which will be held in Jaipur next Tuesday. And he is optimistic about his chances. “I have previously been picked by Delhi Daredevils but never got a chance to play. This time, let’s see how things go. It would be nice to get picked up by any franchise,” he said.