Anmolpreet Singh: Tracking the rise of the wonder boy from Punjab
Over the last few years, India have produced plenty of exciting batting talents capable of staking legitimate claims to enter the national team. From Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant to Prithvi Shaw, gifted batsmen just keep on coming. Anmolpreet Singh from Punjab is the latest addition to the talented list.
Anmolpreet, playing his first Ranji Trophy season, has already made 734 runs in 6 innings at an astounding average of 146.80. His scores thus far read - 252 not out, 40,12, 267, 113, 50.
He is currently the third highest run-maker in the 2017/18 Ranji Trophy edition thus far. The most important aspect of his impressive numbers is his strike-rate which stands at an eye-catching 80.48.
Punjab's promising number four batsman scored his second double hundred of the season during the ongoing match against Services. He has made an unbeaten 252 from only 318 balls. By virtue of his stellar knock, Punjab have declared their first innings at 645/6.
Let us take a look at his eventful journey until now and what the future holds for the dynamic 19-year old from Patiala.
Exploits in the U-19 World Cup
In 2014/15, the teenager was awarded the MA Chidambaram Trophy for the best Under-19 cricketer by BCCI. Though he was selected for the U-19 World Cup in 2016 in Bangladesh, Anmolpreet could not get a game until the quarter-final. During the quarter-final against Namibia, he scored a rapid 42-ball 41.
In the semi-final against Sri Lanka, Anmolpreet made 72 off 92 balls to propel India to a healthy total of 267/9. He was deservedly adjudged Man of the Match for his fine knock. Even though he could not make an impression in the final, his reasonable performances marked him as one to keep an eye out for.
Forcing his way back
Anmolpreet made his Ranji Trophy debut against Himachal Pradesh during the 2017/18 season. Though he scored a 50 off 81 balls, he was axed from the side. Instead, the think tank instructed him to play in the CK Nayudu Trophy for Punjab's U-23 team.
In a candid chat with Hindustan Times, he had affirmed, "It was good to get a half-century on debut. However, I was disappointed to lose the berth in the second game against Vidarbha. I was told to play in the CK Nayudu Trophy against Himachal. I wanted to score a big knock and get back my spot in the senior team for Ranji Trophy."
He did exactly that. The right-hander smashed an excellent 202 against Himachal Pradesh U-23 and helped Punjab win the match by an innings and 91 runs.
The selectors recalled Anmolpreet to the senior team for the clash against Goa. He repaid their faith by scoring a brilliant century. Anmolpreet made an even bigger statement in the next game against Chhattisgarh by scoring 267 from just 262 balls. Riding on his knock, Punjab won the match by an innings and 118 runs.
His impressive performances earned him a call-up to the Board President's XI to face Sri Lanka in their warm-up match. Unfortunately, he did not get a chance to bat.
One for the future
Anmolpreet has made a blistering start to his career. His numbers are staggering and the future certainly looks bright. Scoring three hundreds from just six innings, including two double centuries, is not an easy task.
He scores at a brisk pace too. When a middle-order batsman gets a big score quickly, it helps the team in different ways. Apart from enabling the captain to declare the innings early and give his bowlers more overs to bowl out the opposition, such a high strike-rate also assists those at the other end to take their time in constructing their innings.
Anmolpreet revealed, "I have been encouraged by captain Jiwanjot Singh, Bhajji paaji (Harbhajan Singh) and Yuvi paaji (Yuvraj Singh)." Apart from the senior stars of his state team, he also idolizes Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
Having showcased his immense talent in the Ranji Trophy, Anmolpreet will be looking to catch the attention of the national selectors by continuing his sparkling form. He possesses all the ingredients to break into the Indian team in the coming years.