Teja proving his worth for Andhra in Ranji Trophy

The 29-year-old Ravi Teja scored a match-winning 50 against Jammu & Kashmir at the Brabourne Stadium here on Sunday. With 90, he was also the top-scorer in Andhra’s first innings.

Ravi Teja, Andhra, Ranji Trophy

Ravi Teja is not willing to sulk about missed opportunities and is keen to perform well for his new Ranji team.   -  P.K. Ajit Kumar

Ten years ago at Lincoln in New Zealand in a Youth Test, D.B. Ravi Teja made 105 opening the Indian innings. He put on 113 for the first wicket with Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 49.

Virat Kohli, batting at No. 4, and Piyush Chawla, who was the captain, also struck hundreds. Ravindra Jadeja too was in the eleven.

They have, of course, all gone on to play for India while Ravi was forced to leave his Ranji team, Hyderabad, because of lack of opportunities. His decision to move to Andhra has made him happy.

The 29-year-old scored a match-winning 50 against Jammu & Kashmir at the Brabourne Stadium here on Sunday. With 90, he was also the top-scorer in Andhra’s first innings.

And it was a most unlikely win. At stumps on the third day, a draw had looked the most possible result. J&K was ahead by 110 runs and it had lost only two wickets.

But, Ravi believed that Andhra could win the match. “We could get them out quickly and set ourselves a target of something like 180 from 40 overs,” he had said. “And I was confident that we could get those runs.”

A day later, Ravi was in a position to say: “Didn’t I tell you that?”

The former India Under-19 opener’s words had indeed become prophetic, though Andhra had an easier target than he anticipated: it had 52 overs to get 191.

“It felt nice to contribute to a fine victory for Andhra,” he told Sportstar here on Monday. “And I am glad that I could prove my worth to my new team.”

While he is crisscrossing the country for the Ranji Trophy, many of the players who featured in that Under-19 series of 2006-07, such as Kohli, Rahane, Jadeja, Ken Williamson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Corey Anderson, are playing in the India-New Zealand series. Ravi said he was not thinking too much on missing out on representing the senior Indian team.

“They all performed consistently at the domestic cricket and they got the right break at the right time, while I didn’t,” he said. “And I didn’t get the backing from the administrators of the domestic team I played for. But, these days, I rather focus on scoring heavily in the Ranji Trophy. And I am enjoying my batting now and the added responsibility I have in this Andhra side.”

Looking back at his India Under-19 days, he said he was convinced that Kohli was a special talent. “His hunger for runs was evident even then,” he said. “And he was very aggressive. I am not at all surprised by his success in international cricket.”

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