R Ashwin helped me a lot while batting: TNPL player of the tournament, N Jagadeesan
The inaugural edition of TNPL got over a couple of days back with Albert Tuti Patriots lifting the trophy by beating Chepauk Super Gillies by 122 runs in the finals. This tournament saw a lot of young talents showcasing themselves and making a statement with their performances.
One name that stood out among the others was Dindigul Dragons’ wicketkeeper-batsman Narayan Jagadeesan, who ended the tournament as the batsman with the most number of runs and eventually, he was named the Player of the Tournament.
Jagadeesan is someone who is very consistent for his TNCA first division side Grand Slam CC, but the TNPL helped him to showcase his talent to the cricket fraternity.
Jagadeesan scored 397 runs from 8 innings in the TNPL at an average of over 56 and a strike rate of 120.67, numbers that are extraordinary in the T20 format. Out of the eight innings he played, he scored 5 fifties, the most by any player in the tournament and was putting on a one-man show with the bat.
In spite of heroics, he couldn't take his team to the finals despite scoring a fighting fifty in the first semi-finals against the eventual champions Albert Tuti Patriots as his team lost the match by 38 runs.
Sportskeeda caught up with N Jagadeesan for an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts:
On the inaugural edition of TNPL:
I think the inaugural edition of TNPL is a big hit and it gave the players across the state a lot of opportunity and exposure to express themselves. It was also great to play in front of a lot of people.
On finishing the tournament as the leading run-scorer and the Player of the Tournament:
To be frank, I went into the tournament without any expectation. I didn’t have any particular targets going into the tournament. I just wanted to express myself and play my natural game. I felt happy for winning the Player of the Tournament award. As I said, I didn’t expect anything going into the tournament, but I am really happy to do well and I am grateful to the Take solutions team (the owners of Dindigul Dragons) for having faith in me and picking me in the player drafts.
On getting selected in the Tamil Nadu probables and expectations for the future:
Of course, just like every Indian kid, my long-term goal is to represent India and as far as the short term goal is concerned, I just want to make it into the Ranji Trophy team. If I get into the Ranji team, I would like to do well.
On catching the eye of the IPL teams and getting an IPL contract:
Surely I will apply for the IPL auction. Just like how I went into the TNPL, I don’t have any expectation going into it. It will be good if one of the teams bid for me.
On the advice he got from senior pros like S Badrinath, Lakshmipathy Balaji (both Grandslam CC), R Ashwin and M Ashwin (Dindigul Dragons):
They used to give me a lot of advice and share their experience before the play. R Ashwin backed me and gave me a lot of confidence when I was batting with him. He helped me a lot when it came to my batting.
On his batting strengths:
My timing is my biggest strength and it helps me in scoring a lot of runs. In the TNPL, I used my backfoot really well and felt that it was one area in which I was really strong throughout the tournament.
On the spat with R Sai Kishore:
It just happened in the heat of the moment. I was batting well and if I had stayed till the end, I could have won the match for my team. But I got out to him at a crucial time and the incident took place in the heat of that particular moment.
On his cricketing hero/inspiration:
I started playing cricket because of my father. I didn’t have any cricketer as my inspiration or never imagined me in place of any other cricket, but I like Virat Kohli a lot. He is my favorite cricketer (Incidentally, Jagadeesan also wore jersey no.18 in TNPL, the same number used by Virat Kohli for the Indian cricket team and Royal Challengers Banglore) Co-incidence?
On the toughest bowler he faced in the TNPL:
It wasn’t tough to face a particular bowler because we have played a lot together in both TNCA divisional matches and in the state-level tournaments. At the same time, it wasn't easy to bat at Tirunelveli because of the nature of the wicket.