Here is a face to face with Abhishek Gaurav- Cricket captain of BITS Pilani- as he gets frank on the status of cricket in our country and his team’s ongoing preparations- and expectations for this year’s BOSM.
1.Why do you think cricket has always dominated other sports in our country?
Cricket has been here since the British started it while they were ruling India. Moreover India has produced some great players like Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly and I think that’s the main reason cricket has become so popular here.
2.Does the growing emergence of football amongst the youngsters concern you as a cricketer?
No, I think cricket is here to stay for a long time. It doesn’t really matter if other sports come in too.
3. What has cricket helped you become?
Initially when I was young I was short tempered. When I played matches and lost it was very frustrating. But over the years I think I lost a lot of matches. I got used to it and so I learnt to cope with losses.
4 . MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli – two equally talented players with absolutely different temperament. Whom would you support as a captain?
I don’t support anyone. I think everyone has their own way of handling a team. As for me I try to strike a balance between Dhoni and Kohli. Sometimes you need to handle the team like Dhoni and sometimes like Kohli.
5.How is the training been for BOSM so far?
The training for BOSM is going good, this time we have a fresh team which includes seven to eight new faces. Only three people in the team have played the previous BOSM.
6.But don’t you think that reduces the experience?
Yes, it greatly reduces the experience, so we have to play as many matches as possible with other teams in front of a crowd. We have to keep practicing.
7.During a pressure situation what do you prefer to do – talk to yourself or communicate with team members?
The vice captain is a fourth yearite and he has been playing for four years. In any situation I think I would consult him first and if we feel we should talk to team members we do so.
8. What is your stand on sledging?
I think I have played three to four tournaments outside and I think no other team sledges more than BITS Pilani (laughs). Well, I think sledging is very good, it gets the best out of many players. But too much of anything is bad and so it should be done in a limited manner.
9. Any key players to look out for this season, other than you?
(Smiles)I think the vice captain is very good and experienced. And amongst the second years Jaisheel is in good form. As I said the whole team is in good touch and we are training well.
10. How confident are you this year?
Well, till today I was really confident but today we lost to BKBIET! And that had never happened in the recent past. I think their ground is really small and there were two or three factors that went in their favour. Otherwise I think we do have a decent chance to reach the semis at minimum.
11. Any advice you would like to give players who aspire to get into the team?
This year I think a lot of students had come for cricket trials-about 80 to 90, but the thing is that our infrastructure is not good enough to accommodate all of them. We cant really practise with these many people They should come over in the next semester too, to practice and work on their game.