IPL 2017: Going into the Indian Premier League, Gurkeerat Singh Mann believes that Virender Sehwag will have an important role to play in Kings XI Punjab's dressing room.
Only last year, Gurkeerat Singh Mann was living his wildest dream. Coming from an extremely fruitful domestic season, he was selected in Indian cricket team for the tour of Australia and was being tipped as next finisher for the side. Three ODI matches and 14 months later, he is trying to impress the selectors once again but Punjab’s middle-order batsman who scored 4 half-centuries in this year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy has absolutely no regrets.
“I feel if you perform, no one can point a finger at you. I didn’t perform to my potential and to make a comeback I need to do well in domestic cricket. I am not thinking about the past. I’m just focusing at present and trying to be as consistent as possible and win more matches for Punjab,” said a determined Gurkeerat who was one of the bright points in Punjab’s otherwise disappointing campaign.
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Gurkeerat, who is a naturally aggressive player took 102 balls for his 58 runs against Assam but helped his team to come out of a tough situation and guided them to a strong total. “That is one thing that I have been working on. We had lost 4 early wickets and the situation was tricky. So, I wanted to spend more time and assess the conditions. I didn’t have a very good T20 tournament so it was more of a conscious effort,” he said about the adjustments he has made in his batting.
Going into the Indian Premier League, he believes that Virender Sehwag will have an important role to play in Kings XI Punjab’s dressing room. “Virender Sehwag is very cool in the dressing room, ‘abhi tak to gussa karte hue dekha nahi hai’. I believe he will have a very important role to play as all youngsters and even foreign players look up to him for inspiration,” said Gurkeerat.
Even though Preity Zinta-owned franchise finished at the bottom of the table in last two seasons, Gurkeerat is hopeful of a better performance under the leadership of Murali Vijay. He said, “It is a very competitive tournament and every team tries to give their best. But, we did really well in the second half last year under Murali Vijay’s captaincy. All the players were comfortable to play under him and gelled well.”
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“I think a good player is the one who adapts to different formats and given the competition in India, it becomes really important. This has always been my approach,” added Gurkeerat when asked about the limited-overs specialist tag on him. He was disappointed not to play too many games last in IPL but is looking forward to a more fruitful season this time. “I didn’t play too many games in the first half last year but you have to move on and focus on future. It’s very good that management has signed Varun Aaron. Now our fast bowling unit is looking complete and of course, Axar has been doing really well in the spin department. The combination this year looks very good. Martin Guptill is another very good addition. I’m looking forward to joining the team and be a part of the camp,” he said.
Remembering his breathtaking catch of Ross Taylor in 2013 Gurkeerat said, “My approach is to attack the ball when I’m fielding. Sometimes you drop catches but not going for it even worse. I just wanted to catch no matter what the outcome is, luckily I caught the ball.” Gurkeerat believes it was certainly a career-defining moment for him. “To be honest, I felt more special when people started speaking about it. I also got the award for ‘best catch of the season’ and that’s when I realised, I had done something special,” he concluded.