"My goal would be to take his wicket as early as possible" – Kanishk Seth ready to play against 'big brother' Suresh Raina in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

Kanishk Seth won IPL 2018 with the Chennai Super Kings
Kanishk Seth won IPL 2018 with the Chennai Super Kings

On December 1, 2020, a 23-year-old rising star from Bengal, Kanishk Seth, played a great knock at the iconic Eden Gardens. Donning the East Bengal Club jersey in the Bengal T20 Challenge, Seth smacked a 16-ball half-century against the Kalighat Club.

Kanishk Seth smashed five fours and three sixes in his knock and then returned with figures of 1/21 in the second innings to help the East Bengal Club win the match by 58 runs. He received the Man of the Match award for his all-round brilliance.

Chennai Super Kings had signed Kanishk Seth 2018 IPL Auction

Kanishk Seth earned his maiden IPL contract in 2018
Kanishk Seth earned his maiden IPL contract in 2018

Kanishk Seth's talent had impressed the Chennai Super Kings management in 2018 as they signed him in the auction. Kanishk got an opportunity to share the dressing room with the likes of MS Dhoni, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, DJ Bravo, and Suresh Raina. On top of that, he won the elusive IPL title in his first season itself.

Kanishk Seth is a left-arm medium pacer and an explosive right-handed batsman, who will turn up for the Railways cricket team in the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Kanishk Seth shared his experience of being a CSK player, his goals for the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and how he used the quarantine to work on his weak points. Full interview below -

Q. What are your goals for the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and how have you been training to achieve them?

Kanishk Seth: Well, my goal has always been constant from the very beginning. From the day I started playing professional cricket at the age of 14, when I debuted for Bengal, till today playing for Railways, my ultimate goal is to play for the country. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy gives me an extra push to showcase what talent I possess.

It's a good platform to know where you stand before getting picked by IPL franchises. Getting to play with such talented units adds to it too. It pushes me more to perform well, take more wickets, keep doing what I am best at, and to launch them into the stands as well. 

Well, I have been playing a lot of practice games of late and I feel I am in good shape. I had recently played in the Bengal T20 Challenge. So, I feel I'll pull it off in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Q. You shared the dressing room with MS Dhoni in IPL 2018. Tell us something about that time.

Kanishk Seth: It's a dream for any kid of my age to share the dressing room with a living legend. Idol would be an underrated word for him. Mahi Bhai has always been a parental figure, always guided me, all the youngsters, and backed us always. If you need help, he will be the first person to come up with the best advice. 

Q. How was it like winning the trophy in your first IPL season?

Kanishk Seth: It was amazing, of course. Getting to win the trophy in the very first year of the IPL career is always special. I would love to repeat that, but this time I'll be on the ground, probably helping my team with important runs and wickets. 

Q. You scored a 16-ball 50 at Eden Gardens during the Bengal T20 Challenge. It was the fastest at this iconic venue since 2014. Share your experience of playing in that tournament.

Kanishk Seth in action during the Bengal T20 Challenge
Kanishk Seth in action during the Bengal T20 Challenge

Kanishk Seth: [Laughs] I always love tonking big ones. It's like I love doing it since I was a kid. The fastest 50 in any form of the game always feels special, that too I broke Ishan's (Ishan Kishan) record of 17 balls (IPL 2018 KKR vs. MI). Yes, I heard it was the fastest since 2014. I would love to do something similar in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy if I get an opportunity to bat. You never know, (another fifty) might come in lesser deliveries, who knows.

Q. How is life inside a bio-bubble? You had to quarantine before the Bengal T20 Challenge and also before the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy?

Kanishk Seth: You get to do absolutely nothing. It feels like a luxury prison [laughs]. You just have the best amenities—nothing else to do apart from working out on your own in the room. I do have a theraband. So, I kept working out and did bodyweight exercises. I also tried my cricket gears and visualized myself in the 22 yards playing the game to keep myself occupied. Besides, I also watched my previous matches and kept learning from my old videos and mistakes. 

Q. Suresh Raina was your vice-captain in IPL 2018. But in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, you will play against him in the group stage. Any special plans to take his wicket?

Kanishk Seth: He is a big brother. I love him to bits. As we all know, he is a master of the trade, and it would be tough but not difficult. My goal would be to take his wicket as early as possible. That would put a lot of pressure on the opposition team. 

Q. How was it like bowling with veteran player Ashok Dinda and playing under Manoj Tiwary's captaincy at Bengal?

Kanishk Seth: Dinda Bhai and Mani Da are like big brothers, always there when you need them. It was always fun bowling in tandem with Dinda Bhai. On one end, he used to put the batsman under pressure, and on the other end, it became easy for me to pick up wickets.

Manoj Bhai was the captain when I had debuted. He is still a mentor to me, always there telling me what to do and what not to. He is a captain who backs the ability of a youngster no matter what the result is. He shows a lot of faith in the youngsters. 

Q. Railways missed out on a Super League spot last year due to the net run rate. How motivated is the Railways team to perform well and make it to the next round in 2021?

Kanishk Seth: I am super excited to be a part of the Railways. Firstly, it's a great side. You have a great combination of experience and youth. We have the experience of Karn Bhai (Karn Sharma) and other seniors, who will lead the team. On the other side, there are youngsters who are ready to give their best for the team. We have it in us to go through to the knockouts, and surely we will. Everyone is geared up and ready. I am sure we would go through to the knockouts with good points and a good net run rate.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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