In the last few years, Jharkhand has produced some of the cleanest hitters in the likes of Ishan Kishan and Saurabh Tiwary. Adding the name of 22-year-old Virat Singh would only do justice to the above-mentioned list.
A young Virat Singh burst on to the scene at a young age of only 17, when he made his first-class debut for Jharkhand against Assam in 2014. Singh could only conjure 25 runs in two innings in that match, a disappointing Jharkhand side managed to draw that game. Singh then aimed for an Under-19 World Cup spot in the Indian Under-19 team but felt tantalizingly short due to a string of poor scores leading up to the event in. Bangladesh. Crushed by his performances, the big-hitter worked hard on his game and returned to Jharkhand with a much more sound technique than before.
In the days leading up to the IPL 2020 auction, Singh was confident of getting a bidder but the price, however, INR 1.9 crore, from Sunrisers Hyderabad came as a pleasant surprise for him. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo yesterday, Singh said:
"I've had 200 missed calls and some 300 messages already... also have to treat my team-mates to dinner. The next game is in my hometown [Jamshedpur], so maybe we'll have a small celebration when we assemble again ahead of our next Ranji game against Haryana."
In the three recently concluded tournaments leading up to the auction yesterday (excluding the ongoing Ranji Trophy), Singh emerged as Jharkhand's highest run-scorer in two. In seven Vijay Hazare Matches for Jharkhand this year, Singh scored 335 runs at an average of 83.75, hitting two fifties and a hundred.
Singh didn't find it hard to switch to a shorter format as he went on to pile on runs for Jharkhand in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, emerging as the highest run-scorer for Jharkhand yet again. He scored 343 runs in 10 matches at an astonishing T20 average of 57.16, hitting three fifties in the process. Apart from that, Singh also managed to hit a fifty in the two games he played for India C in the Deodhar Trophy, scoring 82 runs in total.
It will be interesting to see how SRH utilize the in-form big-hitter, who may well be the player to look-out for in the next edition of the Indian Premier League.