Interview of Cricket Fans – 148
J – Thank you for your participation in this interview, firstly tell us a bit about yourself as a cricket fan and your early memories of the game.
Cricket, a sport I have loved since I was a kid, I mean of course, not the 90’s kid to live that good old era but my journey somewhat started in 2007 like when I was 7, I remember 2007 in my mind right now, India vs England ODI series, kind of remember 2007 World Cup and of course the T20 WC 2007, what a special WT20 and definitely for someone whose favourite was Yuvraj Singh at that time, and then 2008 CB series and a couple of bilateral series and so on and of course the 2011 WC being the best memory and what’s left to describe of it when every year on 2nd April, you just want to relive that day again from the beginning.
Also been there to watch a day of two different test matches, India vs Pakistan (2007/08) and India vs Australia (2008).
One ODI – India vs Australia (2009) and two IPL games – DD vs MI (2008), SRH vs GL Q2 (2016). The stadium atmosphere is also worth remembering and hope to see more.
J – How has Cricket played a role in your life?
A great role in my life, first of all, it’s common to mention how you dream to be one of them and I say yes, it’s still a dream no matter what the reality is, no matter how tough it is to chase it, it is still a dream that’s stubborn and will stay but gotta accept whatever is happening. I am a left-handed batsman. Sometimes the impact of frustration is so much that you want a particular Sunday where you want to just go and do the bat swing for a six or maybe just take a stunner and celebrate madly, I am the kind of guy who gets frustrated with my wicket easily like even if it’s just friendly, playing for fun, I want to do better personally for satisfaction but yeah indeed emotional connect while watching, playing definitely exits.
J – Tell us a bit about the guy in your display picture, and how has he inspired you as a fan?
Virat Kohli. That’s it. The name is enough for everyone reading this. Passion, hunger, aggression, records etc. Now it’s enough? or maybe it’s not. Virat Kohli – The greatest player of our generation! thats it for the compliments that every VK fan gives him. While feeling energetic just like him, nobody is tired of praising this man’s greatness.
Batting is completely top class and currently, the century drought is something that kind of hurts because of the way he builds his innings and the moment he reaches his hundred, like alright it’s another masterclass that you just watched ball by ball. I became his fan back in the 2015-16 period, I wish I started liking him a bit earlier but never too late because wow what a time to be his fan and the biggest inspiration you can get from him is his definition as a sportsperson.
J – And you have him in the RCB jersey, tell us how long have you been supporting the franchise.
Interestingly, a bit of liking started in 2013 and when they bought Yuvraj in 2014, I was just a fan of the team where Yuvi went (Funny to think now that oh I got a lot of favourite teams) but still in 2015 I started liking them a lot more and then that 2016 season, right after that WT20, just the vibes, just the feels but heartbreak in both tournaments, still the greatest of all memories in 2016 and now I am the loyal RCBian, RCB will win next year, we got the team, we got the dream, started inside of me and just let me skip 2017 horror season, 2018 IPL – again as a fan who wanted them to win said okay hope players do fire but Gayle and KL why did we leave them? disappointment season no.2, that season I specifically remember for AB De Villiers because he was in great touch that season and of course that catch and that season after his retirement hits, 2019 another bad season, Like why anyone would divide 2016’s greatness into three opposite parts and give us worse 2017, a bad 2018 and another bad 2019 before we qualified again in 2020 and lost again in the eliminator. Living as an RCBian with no alternative favourites now and obviously the friends be like “hey your team is not going to win” and I reply “Shut up! they will!”
J – Few words on the AB – VK duo? Also, mention your favourite memory between these two.
AB De Villiers from South Africa and Virat Kohli from India,
two of the best batsmen from the 2010-2020 decade, in the top 5 of ODI and Top 5 of Test rankings during the time period of the decade but wait they are part of the same team in IPL! that’s it the greatest batting duo to ever take place, let’s bring the biasness in but for a moment appreciate that we all were blessed to witness the partnerships that they had. The duo go in a different way of playing cricket, one is orthodox, classy, the king and the other is unorthodox, filled with lots of skills, is a genius, tearing apart bowling lineups for 2 200+ run stand in a T20 game, one of them scores a century in 2015 but in 2016 both of them score a century and this has to be the favourite one.
I dislike the comparisons because I won’t take one down for the other because I have enjoyed them both a lot and they are on different levels of being my favourite so quite tough to pick one. Currently, I am still grateful to watch them play together and this is simply a wish for how many times but please two of them in a picture with IPL trophy in their hands, that particular moment should happen and I want to live it, to cherish it.
J – Who is your favourite cricketer amongst the younger generation, and why?
Current generation cricketer, for those who will carry the game forward and lead us to a transition from a fan point of view, for me there are quite a few but Rishabh Pant is my pick because of his way of playing and currently, the rise from the past criticism after his comeback to national side during BGT 2020-21 was quite remarkable and since then you want him to do well and continue to achieve something everyone thought he would and something for the stats that make us go wow in the future.
J – India vs Pakistan or India vs Australia, select one along with the reason.
At this point, I just need better build-up, better matchups and competition. Throw in neutral venue test series and make it interesting because I would watch any of the two but I would pick India vs Australia, enjoy the fun in watching these two compete, India vs Pakistan is all about watching a hyped game with a sense of excitement but you need that thrill in it that is missing.
J – World Test Championship, India vs New Zealand in England, how excited are you and what are the chances for India in the finals?
Honestly, the law of averages, wherever you are do us a favour and take away the streak from 2014, 15, 16,17,19 but that’s just outside stuff that we all mention here and there but firstly glad to see a neutral venue test which is what I kind of wanted in the league stage (is that what I should call?) of WTC as well just to add some twist because indeed it’s an ICC event. Chances of India can go higher if our support and desperation to see a final win is connected to it but nah, the pitch, toss factor, team combination, preparation, the form of players a lot depends on how those 5 days of the game would be like and everyday nervous fans tuning in at 3:30 P.M to watch Final but praying for the best.
J – Do you have an all-time XI?
MY T20 XI
AB de Villiers
3rd Pacer – Mitchell Starc
Alternate Opener – Brendon McCullum or Rohit Sharma.