Nayar eyes India colours
Mumbai, Nov 9: An important cog in the Mumbai line-up, Abhishek Nayar has been making a difference to the team’s fortunes with bat and ball. After an impressive season with the bat last year, the all-rounder has been working on his bowling and also hopes to make it back in the national team.
His efforts in the off-season paid dividends in the first game of the Ranji Trophy, when Nayar made a century while batting with the lower order and giving the team a much needed breakthrough with his bowling.
While speaking to bcci.tv, Nayar talked about the areas that he is working on and the season ahead.
Excerpts from the interview:
On the good start to the tournament
I have been working really hard. I have worked really hard especially on my bowling in the off-season and I have always worked hard on my batting. So I am happy with the way things have gone. I am looking forward to this season. Hopefully, I can keep delivering and get better. I will just keep working hard and if things have to go my way, they will.
On areas he has worked on to improve his bowling
I have been working on a few technical aspects. I have worked on my run-up a lot. I try to replicate what I used to do in the Under-19s because I used to bowl really well then. I think I am there and thereabouts to where I want to be and every one even in the team is quite happy with the way I have been bowling. So I think I am very happy in that respect. Hopefully, I can keep my fitness going and keep my fingers crossed and hope everything works out well for me.
On whether he is striving to get the India cap as an all-rounder
Well I am hopeful. I have always been hopeful and optimistic and positive about what I do. I am never going to give up on the Indian cap. I have been there, I feel I could have done a lot more with the opportunity that I got, but I think there is always a next time and hopefully this time around with the hard work that I have put in, things can go my way.
On running out of partners while batting and batting with the lower order
Sometimes I get a little irritated because I feel like I can get a really big one [innings] and then you lose partners. But I think that’s the challenge for me to make sure that I can get the best out of everyone lower down the order. And I think I have done really well in those situations in the past as well. I strive under pressure and I enjoy the pressure, so in a way it’s a blessing in disguise. Last year I batted at No.3 and this year I am batting at No.6, so it’s another challenge for me to do well this year, batting lower down the order. Hopefully, in the next match, if Ajinkya [Rahane] is not there, I bat up the order; but this is a challenge for me batting wherever I get chance and going up and down the order as per the team’s requirement, but I am enjoying it. I am trying to enjoy my cricket and do the best that I can.
On being flexible in the batting line-up
I had a fair bit of idea before this match that I was going to bat in the middle order, so I was working hard before this. Whichever match I played, I tried batting at No.5 and last year since I batted at No.3, I batted at No.3 wherever I played; whether it was club games or company games. But this year my team has been very supportive of me, my club and my company team so they let me bat at No.5 and 6. So I got used to batting lower down and making sure that I get used to batting there and handling the pressure if we lose early wickets and doing well and that kind of helped me here. So hopefully if next game I am up the order, I will try and make up my mind and try and be in a good frame of mind to bat up the order and play according to those conditions.
On missing out on a few major players for the next games
We are quite used to playing without the big two [Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan]; at least Ajinkya [Rahane] has been part of our team. But we have got good youngsters; we have good players who have done well last season. Surya’s [Suryakumar Yadav] done really well. Hiken Shah has been doing really well, so I think we have got a good batting line-up, little inexperienced but I think all in all we are a very strong unit. We have good bench strength. And we have been working hard as a team for a very long time in the off-season, so hopefully we can get things together and pull the right strings and go all the way.
On the responsibility as senior
The responsibility is always there. We quiet enjoy that, because working with the other guys is always fun, you get more energy and there are a lot of youngsters in the team. It also adds responsibility in a way where our role becomes more defined, but in a way I think it is good for the team because everyone gets a good chance and everyone gets a good look in and if we do well as a young unit, then obviously we can move forward and do really well.