Playing with heart and Zol


“I am happy with my present form and I wish to keep the momentum going,” says India ‘A’ opening batsman Vijay Zol, who scored a century in the drawn match against New Zealand ‘A’ recently. By J. R. Shridharan.

Talented India ‘A’ opener Vijay Zol idolises more than one consummate cricketing personality. He is modelling his fledging career by closely following the virtues of three well-known cricketers, all with contrasting styles.

“I like Virender Sehwag for his dare-devilry; Virat Kohli for his never-say-die spirit and Michael Hussey (Australia) for his abundant patience,” said the 18-year-old southpaw from Jalna District (Maharashtra), who cracked a century (110) in the drawn match against New Zealand ‘A’ in Visakhapatnam recently.

In a brief chat with Sportstar on the sidelines of the India ‘A’ versus New Zealand ‘A’ match, Zol said he believed in keeping his cricket simple.

“I stick to my basics and play the balls according to merit,” said the youngster, who rewrote the batting record in the Under-19 category by slamming an unbeaten 451 in a Cooch Behar match between Maharashtra and Assam.

According to Andhra cricket administrator Koka Ramesh, who went as the manager of the India Under-19 team that lifted the Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 2012, Zol has the wherewithal to make it to the big stage. “Vijay is an uncomplicated, small town fellow. He is focused, disciplined and a wonderful team-man. He has the poise, the temperament, the strokes, stamina and above all a still head,” he said.

“Zol knows what his strengths are and he exhibits them astutely. Once he finds his rhythm, Zol simply goes on and on, building his innings, stroke by stroke. His recent big knocks speak volumes about his attitude,” said the former India fast bowler and now junior India coach, Bharat Arun.

“I do not find any major flaws in his batting, but he should know what his skipper and team requires of him in different formats of the game,” Arun added.

Zol drew the attention of cricket officials and critics with his back-to-back centuries (173 and 128) as the skipper of India ‘A’ against Sri Lanka in the two-match youth ‘Test’ series this year. Earlier, he was a member of the India Under-19 team that won the World Cup in Australia. Zol was also part of the Asia Cup-winning India Under-19 in Kuala Lumpur in 2012.

“I am happy with my present form and I wish to keep the momentum going. My ultimate aim is to represent India at the senior level. I also look forward to the forthcoming quadrangular Under-19 ODI tournament featuring India, Australia, Zimbabwe and South Africa in Visakhapatnam from September 23,” said the dashing opener.

Zol is a big fan of actor Aamir Khan and has seen all his films. “I love watching him, for he is a method actor,” he said.

Zol spends his free time listening to Hindi songs and he likes playback singer Sonu Nigam for his crisp rendition of songs.