Thatscricket.com met this young and aspiring cricketer at Hyderabad ahead of a Ranji Trophy game. "Like any other cricketer I would like to represent the country. I set small targets for myself and achieve them step-by-step," he said.
Excerpts of the exclusive interview:
Who was your inspiration to get into cricket?
Actually it was my father who inspired me to join cricket. He is very interested in cricket and also other sports. He put me into a coaching camp when I was in third standard. Sachin Tendulkar is my idol.
Your England under-19 tour was very successful. Did you find any difference in the pitches in England compared to India?
Pitches were normal. Though there was a lot of swing, they were not too bouncy. Initially the swing did give us few problems. But once we settled down, the pitches were not a problem at all.
Which innings of yours do you rate the best in England, and did you do anything different in that innings?
I would rate the knock of 177 runs as my best innings. I wanted to win the game for my side. I was lot more focused. I knew if I stayed in the middle for a long time I would definitely score some runs.
I did nothing special for that match. I focus match by match. I don't try doing anything different. I set small targets and try to achieve them instead of setting big targets.
How did you feel when you got all the media attention after the England tour?
Nothing different actually. I felt normal and I am still the same as I was before.
Who are your coaches and where do you practice?
I practice at Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) ground. Vijay Paul and Nagesh Aman are my coaches. But we do go around to different coaching camps all through the year. The National Cricket Academy (NCA) gives us the training and practice schedules, which we follow all through the year.
Do you find any difference in your normal training and the NCA schedule?
Yes. At NCA everything is scientific. We get to watch our videos and our mistakes are pointed out exactly and it helps us clear them. It helps us to develop our skills much better. There is a lot of difference. But I don't really find a big difference between the coaches.
How do you deal with pressure when you run through a bad patch?
I did have two bad patches for a long time. I don't get demoralised. I motivate myself so that I can come out of it. I keep myself focused and try to eliminate the flaws in my batting. I try not to throw my wicket away. I just try to play my natural game and get runs.
What are your hobbies?
I like to listen to music. Though I don't get much time but when ever possible I watch cricket on TV.
What are your aims?
Like any other cricketer I would like to represent the country. But right now I want to concentrate on my game and play well in the Ranji matches this season. Like I said before I set small targets for myself and achieve them step by step.