27-year-old Priyank Panchal has taken giant strides in his career after his upbeat performance in the ongoing Duleep Trophy. Scores of 105 and 133 not out against India Green serves as a testament to his sublime form. The right-hander enjoyed a successful campaign last season, scoring 1,310 runs in 10 Ranji Trophy matches including five centuries. And now Panchal has been picked to play two four-day matches against the touring New Zealand ‘A’ side later this month after his successful pink ball conquest.
The ongoing Duleep Trophy is his first foray in pink-ball cricket. For an opener, the big deal about scoring a century in pink-ball cricket is conquering the ‘twilight zone’ – the period of sundown, when the ball starts moving alarmingly. However, during his twin tons for India Red Panchal, didn’t encounter too much oddity.
He led the overall run-scoring charts in Ranji Trophy last season and was crucial to anchor Gujarat’s maiden title march. However, despite all the heroics, he did not get an IPL contract which left him in shambles.
Panchal used to maintain a journal
Making his way into the India ‘A’ squad was a natural progression, but he missed the South Africa tour because of dengue. Panchal took the setback in his stride and wrote in his diary about how he should have been more careful regarding his health. But the youngster puts things in perspective. If the last season saw his rise to prominence, this term would be about building on the success. And he is done it quite well so far.
Speaking about his change over, Panchal revealed, “I was committing myself on the front foot a little too early against left-arm spinners, especially to deliveries at half-volley length. It needed to be rectified. So I wrote it in my diary. I usually don’t like to look at the past. Every new season is a new challenge. My journey as a cricketer is about following a process and it’s essential to learn from the mistakes.”
He is a promising prospect and deserves some recognition. We have witnessed quite a few players who have shrivelled away due to not enough exposure and game time. Let’s hope the same doesn’t happen with the Gujarat-based batsman and he gets his chance to don the national jersey when the time is right.