Abhishek Chandel believes he can emulate Suresh Raina
The hours at practice and the hours his tireless father has sent a series of throws-down combined with his own passion and determination have made Udaipur’s Abhishek Chandel one of the brightest spots of the National Talent Search and Nurture cricket tournament, conducted by the School Sports Promotion Foundation in tandem with the Sports Authority of India.
An innings of 229 off just 84 deliveries for St. Anthony’s Senior Secondary School against Rockwoods High School contributed nearly half the 442 runs that the left-hander scored in the district and State level competitions but he lifted his game when his team needed in the crucial play-off games against Jaipur and Jodhpur to help Udaipur emerge Rajasthan champion.
The knocks of 43 off 15 deliveries against Jaipur in the semifinal and 59 off 50 deliveries against Jodhpur in the final were evidence of his batting according to the situation and providing the thrust to his team’s score. It appears inevitable that he would be picked for the Rajasthan team to play in the National championship in Sonepat and Delhi in August.
His 442 runs place him among top five run-scorers in NTSN’s inaugural edition. Then again, he has not got to this stage without hard work and the ability to balance his love of sport and his studies. Two hours practice in the morning before school, special tuitions and then three hours again for the Class XI student of St. Anthony’s Senior Secondary School.
Being a student of commerce, Abhishek wants to be a successful chartered accountant. However, he has chosen physical education as an additional subject as he wants to follow his passion along with studies. “I love cricket. My favorite player is Suresh Raina. I am also a left-handed batsman and a part-time off-spinner like him,” he said.
Apart from matches for his school, Abhishek has been training under coach Manoj Choudhary at the Wonders’ Cricket Academy for three years. But he says the NTSN tournament helped him mature as a player. “The tournament brought in seriousness to my game and I have started working on my techniques more seriously,” he said.
It helps that Abhishek’s father, Mangi Lal Chandel, is a Physical Education Teacher in a Government school. “Whenever my father gets time, he helps me with my knocking. He also comes to watch my matches and tells me to learn and refine my game,” he said, pride bursting forth from his heart.
He says his mother sometimes pressures to perform as well in school as he does in cricket since she is concerned about his health and diet. Yet, at the same time she has full faith in his son that his focus will help him overcome challenges like a champion.