mandeep singh he started this Ranji Trophy season with 84 against Himachal Pradesh. But by his own admission, he wasn’t happy with how it went in the middle. Something wasn’t right yet, he couldn’t put a finger on it.
Mandeep called Vikram Rathour, his long-time coach and currently India’s batting coach. Rathour asked him to forward videos of Ranji’s 2019-20 session batting. He also wanted videos of the innings against Himachal. The next day, Mandeep received a detailed evaluation by email from Rathour.
So what did you suggest?
“My head would drop, which affected my balance when I went for a ride. There were problems with the position of my head and my posture. He pointed out the little technical flaws in my hitting. I barely had time to fix it during the tournament, so Vikram paji suggested working overtime on the nets. It worked pretty well for me,” says Mandeep. the indian express.
In the next match against Haryana, he remained undefeated with 159 and helped Punjab record an outright victory. On Saturday, against Tripura, he scored 97 with no out as Punjab successfully chased 240 in the fourth inning on a green Kotla surface. The victory also helped Punjab secure a place in the quarter-finals.
Mandeep felt it was a challenge to hit against Tripura in the fourth inning, given the conditions. Tripura was knocked out for 127 runs in their opening innings, but they put up a spirited fight, defeating Punjab by 120 and then scoring 232 in their second innings, setting the target of 240 on the field, where the ball was running throughout the match. day. It was a tricky chase as 30 wickets had fallen in the first two days. In their second trial, Punjab lost both openers Prabhsimran Singh (0) and Abhishek Sharma (15) at low cost, but Mandeep along with Anmolpreet Singh (64) dropped anchor and placed a cautious 99-run support for the third wicket to stabilize the ship. Thereafter, a 38-ball 43 from Ramandeep took the game away from Tripura as Punjab chased the goal with six wickets to spare.
“The releases against Himachal Pradesh and Tripura were more or less the same. The ball was doing a bit all day. Tripura’s closers, especially Manishankar Murasingh (6/48), pitched beautifully in the early innings. He kept bowling at the stump line, and we kept bowling him to the keeper or on the slip cord,” says Mandeep, who scored 18 in the first inning.
“In the fourth inning, Murasingh was the threat again, but we neutralized him by playing carefully. Anmolpreet and I barely hit any balls, which were off the stump line,” he adds.
Mandeep missed out on a well deserved century when Tripura extended the field at the end of the chase. But the former Punjab captain recalls the advice of his late father, Hardev Singh: “If you don’t come back, it means your team is in a better position. These are the wise words of my father, who always believed that in team sports there is no ‘me’. If my team isn’t winning, then there’s nothing on the personal milestone. Punjab is in the quarterfinals, which is more satisfying for me,” says Mandeep, who has played 3 T20Is for India.
At the start of the season, Mandeep told this newspaper that this will be a challenging season for him because he had not played red ball cricket for the past two years. The start of the season was also not ideal for him as he missed most of Punjab’s matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament due to dengue fever. A poor Vijay Hazare tournament followed. He later tested positive for Covid.
“The COVID-19 made me very weak. After 2 weeks I couldn’t even lift the bat and it took me a while to get my fitness back. In the first week of February, I called in Baltej (Singh), Arshdeep (Singh), and our sidearm shooter Avinash to practice some networking at PCA. I was struggling, whether it was at the nets or in the one practice match we played before we got into the Ranji Trophy bubble,” Mandeep recalled.
“I knew it was going to be tough, probably the most challenging season for me. I decided that I would not give away my wicket, no matter how hard I am fighting. I was ready to work hard. It was all about the mindset, and I’m glad I won this mini-battle,” she said.
In October 2020, Mandeep lost his father, Hardev Singh, while playing for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Dubai. Within hours of his death, an emotional Mandeep went out to play for his franchise, taking another step towards fulfilling his late father’s last wish to see his son return to the Indian cricket team. In January 2021, Mandeep’s wife, Jagdeep Jaswal, in London with her parents, gave birth to her first child. Mandeep had to miss out on one of the most memorable moments of his life. This is because he was leading Punjab in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament in Bangalore at the time.
“I will have to live with the guilt of missing my father’s funeral and the birth of my son. But I want to fulfill the last wish of my father, who even in his last stage was glued to the television to watch me play. I’m just living my father’s dream.”
Brief scores: Tripura: 127 and 232 lost to Punjab: 120 and 240 by 4 (Mandeep Singh 97 not out, Anmolpreet Singh 64)