A break­through for Kaushik Gandhi

He is com­pact and ef­fi­cient at the crease

The Hindu - - SPORT - S. Di­nakar

Noth­ing has come easy for Kaushik Gandhi. He has had to fight ev­ery inch of the way in life and cricket.

When the news of his se­lec­tion for the Duleep Tro­phy fil­tered in on Wed­nes­day, you could be sure that he had earned it.

Com­pact and ef­fi­cient at the crease, Kaushik notched up 785 runs at 60.38 with three cen­turies for Tamil Nadu in the last Ranji sea­son.

The 27-year-old top-or­der bats­man put a price on his wicket, was tech­ni­cally pleas­ing, and saw through test­ing spells.

Kaushik of­fered sta­bil­ity to the line-up, dis­played tem­per­a­ment and in­nings-build­ing skills.

Be­ing picked for Duleep Tro­phy marked a break­through for Kaushik, the first time he has trav­elled be­yond the Tamil Nadu side.

“Nat­u­rally I am ex­cited and look­ing for­ward to the Duleep Tro­phy. I want to prove I am not a one-sea­son bats­man,” said Kaushik in a con­ver­sa­tion with The Hindu.

These are event­ful days for Kaushik.

He will be get­ting mar­ried this week­end and was busy with prepa­ra­tions when the Duleep call-up ar­rived. His smile got big­ger.

A place in the In­dia ‘A’ team is the next goal for Kaushik.

“It’s the nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion and I will have to be at my best.”

Sound off his back-foot, Kaushik is a strong cut­ter and puller. He is side-on, has a mea­sured back-lift and pos­sesses a tight de­fence.

For­mer South Zone and Tamil Nadu bats­man J.R. Madanagopal has guided Kaushik for seven years and been with him in Grand Slam, a first di­vi­sion side in the TNCA league.

He said to this news­pa­per: “He is good at the wait­ing game. Men­tally, he is strong. His meth­ods against both pace and spin are good. Al­though he plays slightly be­side the line, he uses his feet.”

Madanagopal added: “While Kaushik can blunt the at­tack or ro­tate it, he can play his shots too, has a stylish off-side game.”

With the Ranji Tro­phy fol­low­ing Duleep, Kaushik com­pre­hends the com­ing days will be cru­cial. “I want to con­trib­ute even more to the Tamil Nadu side, add a cou­ple of at­tack­ing shots.”

In fact, Kaushik oozed con­fi­dence. “We should win the Ranji Tro­phy this sea­son,” he said.

FILE PHOTO: V. GANESAN

Recog­ni­tion: M. Kaushik Gandhi says he is ex­cited on be­ing picked for the Duleep Tro­phy and wants to prove that he is not a one-sea­son bats­man.

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