There’s something called natural talent, something called hard work, something called dedication, something called perseverance and something called CONSISTENCY. Trust me, the last one is the toughest to accomplish. It’s never easy to wake up each morning and be the best version of yourself, day after day, week after week, and year after year.
One person who has been remarkably consistent in the Indian cricketing circuit over the last couple of years has been Priyank Kirit Panchal, and there are literally no words to describe how well he has performed and how hard he has been knocking at the doors of the national side, without any luck so far. This 28-year old from Gujarat is one who just cannot be ignored for much longer.
In the current 2018/19 Ranji Trophy season too, Panchal amassed nearly 900 runs with a best score of 141, which he achieved twice this season. He has a career best of 314* including a tally of 19 Ranji Trophy centuries, 4 of which he scored this year. For an idea on his constant scoring, take a look at his scores in the Ranji Trophy over the last 5 years, along with the respective season batting averages:
- 2014/15 – 537 runs at 41.30
- 2015/16 – 665 runs at 55.41
- 2016/17 – 1,310 runs at 87.33
- 2017/18 – 542 runs at 60.22
- 2018/19 – 898 runs at 59.87
It’s not too often that you get to see players crossing the 1,000-run mark in a single first-class season, but Panchal achieved that in 2016/17, which was truly a dream season for him. He became the first Gujarat batsman to cross the 1,000-run barrier and his tally for the year became the third highest overall in the history of the Ranji Trophy. This season too, he missed that barrier, with Gujarat having a low-scoring game in their quarter final.
Priyank Panchal social profiles 🌐:
Despite these performances, there’s no talk of the player making the national side. In fact, he’s yet to bag an IPL contract. Talk about bad luck?! We at Read Scoops are dedicated to bringing to you views from some of the best cricketers from around the planet. So, we decided to have a word with Priyank Panchal and ask him the secret behind his consistency, while also asking him how he plans to keep it going in order to win that most desired Indian Test Cap. Keep reading for more…
PRIYANK PANCHAL’s Exclusive Interview With Read Scoops:
Hi Priyank. For several seasons now, you’ve been racking up big scores in the domestic circuit. What would you say are the main reasons behind your consistency?
“I think I’m just trying to ensure I perform in every situation. Whatever uncomfortable circumstances are presented to me, I’m always up for the challenge. I’m very flexible as to where I need to bat and when it comes to some rituals I follow, I ensure having my batting and fielding drills done before every game.”
Despite these performances, you haven’t got a chance to represent Team India or a franchise in the IPL as yet…
“It would be great if I got a chance in the Indian Premier League, but it hasn’t been happening so far, so I’m obviously just focussing on proving myself in the One Day format. Selection isn’t in my hands, but my performances are very much in my hands. For selection, I think consistency and scoring big runs are very important. One day will definitely be there, so I’m preparing myself and these are all just stepping stones to making it to the highest levels eventually.”
Every year, quite a few unknown players get picked at the IPL, but you’ve been a known name since a few years now. How do you keep yourself motivated?
“Of course, we always want that someone should pick us in the IPL Auction each year, but it hasn’t happened for me so far, so I’ve just gone on a drive to improve myself in the last 2-3 years. If you see my stats over the years, I used to score centuries in 200-odd deliveries, but now I can score centuries in 80-90 balls or 100 balls, so the focus has been on my strike rate and scoring positively. This has been the major change in my game in order to get an IPL contract, and even though I didn’t get one for IPL 2019, I’m still motivated. I know that one day ‘mujhe chance milega’ (I’ll get a chance). That Indian Test Cap is a huge driving force.”
With a ton of big scores and important victories so far, what would you term as the best moment of your career so far?
“The innings which I recently played against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium recently was a very satisfying innings for me. We were chasing this season on a wicket which was very difficult and I scored an unbeaten 112*. The innings got my team Gujarat an important 9-wicket victory but more importantly, I was very happy with how skillfully I batted.”
We have a huge population and plenty of cricketing talent in the country. What’s your success formula for getting into the Indian team?
“I would believe as a batsman, the formula is to score runs in every innings you play, regardless of he pitch conditions and regardless of who the opposition is. You have to keep scoring. To get into the Indian team, the main thing you need to do is score runs, throughout the year.”
How long before you think you’d make it to Team India? Which format do you think you’ll play first?
“Honestly, I’ve been scoring runs consistently since the last five years. However, that’s not the question as selection is not in my control. What I can do is always give my best and keep scoring runs at every level. When I do get a Team India call up, I would imagine it would be for the longest format.”
RAPID FIRE !
Favourite format: 4-day/5-day games
Biggest role model growing up: Rahul Dravid
Current favourite cricketer: Indian Virat Kohli, International Kane Williamson
Main goal as a cricketer: Obviously, playing for India. If I have to pin point one particular goal, it would be getting that Indian Test Cap.
If not a cricketer: Very good question. Haven’t thought much about it, but would pursue my studies and do an MBA.
On behalf of the entire team at Read Scoops, I would like to take this chance to say thank you to Priyank Panchal, who was kind enough to talk to us regarding his career so far and his future plans in the game. Also, we hope to see him keep up the good work and playing in Indian colours soon!
– Dwayne Fernandes, Read Scoops