Yash Dhull ticks all the boxes; thrives as a makeshift opener

The 19-year old batter from Delhi declared to Sportstar here on Monday, “I am not an opener at all. I have been opening since there are no other slots available for me.’’

Yash Dhull, of North Zone, plays a shot during the Duleep Trophy quarterfinals against East Zone Squad, at CAP Siechem Ground in Puducherry on Saturday.

Yash Dhull, of North Zone, plays a shot during the Duleep Trophy quarterfinals against East Zone Squad, at CAP Siechem Ground in Puducherry on Saturday. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The 19-year old batter from Delhi declared to Sportstar here on Monday, “I am not an opener at all. I have been opening since there are no other slots available for me.’’

The numbers are staggering. Opening the innings, Yash Dhull has 672 runs from four first class matches at a whopping 134.40 with four centuries. 

Yet, the 19-year-old batter from Delhi declared to Sportstar here on Monday, “I am not an opener at all. I have been opening since there are no other slots available for me.’’

It’s a revelation that adds even greater value to his accomplishments. 

His immaculate 193 for North Zone against East Zone here in the Duleep Trophy is a case in point. Dhull handled the new ball and a capable pace attack with the sort of confidence that has its genesis in immense self belief. 

Dhull said, “I bat No. 4. But I am ready to bat at any slot the team asks me to.”

How does Dhull, who admires Virat Kohli, manage to adapt to the specialist role of an opener?

Dhull responded, “I make the adjustment in my mind. Once your mind is ready, other aspects fall in place.”

You watch Dhull and he, so skilfully, dissects an attack with technical purity. The ball is sent screaming through the open spaces.

“I like to dominate the bowling. I do not want the bowlers to settle into a rhythm,” he said.

While Dhull, with his back and across movement, is solid in defence and judicious in the corridor, he can stroke with grace and elegance.

The cover-drive and the square cut are his favourite strokes and he doesn’t hesitate to hook and pull the seamers.

The smoothness with which he dances down to the spinners or drives the ball down the ground with a high left elbow reflects his class.

He ticks three critical aspects of batsmanship. One, picking the length early and being able to stroke off either foot, his back-foot game is solid. Two, retaining his balance and shape in both defence and offence with his relaxed stance playing a big role. Three, ability to concentrate for long periods and find the gaps with the right stroke selection. 

Growing up in Delhi where a lot of Twenty20, 40 and 50 overs tournaments are played, he doesn’t have difficulties adjusting between formats.

Dhull isn’t thinking about India cap yet. “I love to live in the present. If you live in the present, the future will be great.”

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