Duleep Trophy: Away from the noise of IPL, Harvick Desai calmly makes the right points

Timely advice

At senior level he should have started as a wicket-taker. And before the last season, I took him aside and told him that with such competition, it’s not easy to be part of the national rankings being a batsman first and foremost. I suggested him to take up wicketkeeping, provided he was willing to do both functions (both opening and opener) because I have to be versatile. In no time, he believed it was meant to be and even asked the management to consider him as a keeper-batsman, Jackson recalled in an interview with The Indian Express.

Jackson had a huge impact on the career of Desai, who grew to idolize him. The Bhav Singh Cricket Club in Bhavnagar, where Jackson trained, is where Desai started learning the game and sought his advice from time to time. He has been my mentor since I started playing at U-16 level. I have always looked up to him. Whenever he would come and train with us, it was a big occasion as he played in the IPL and for the India A team, Desai said.

So when Jackson suggested him to take over the wicket and open the Saurashtra gate, Desai didn’t hesitate. Opening and keeping the wicket can be tiring both mentally and physically, but Desai changed his training to be better prepared for both. For the first couple of seasons, when I played only as an opener, it wasn’t difficult. But last season it was different. You have to train your mind and humble yourselfWith Oman’s team in full gear, and he scored about 50 runs. Making his debut for Ranji, he

Even though some of his colleagues have gone ahead in their careers, Desai is not too worried. Well aware that he may have bad days with the bat due to the demanding nature of his skills, he knows that when he sees a new ball, he has to make it. Everyone has their own style. I stand by my game. If I try to copy them, I end up losing my own game. I maintain my technique and try to stick to the basics. I am not a person who will go out on the pitch and make flashy kicks. I need time to come into my own, Desai said.

It is this ability that West Zone will need on day four of the Duleep Trophy final against South Zone. During the first innings, Cheteshwar Pujara, who usually plays at number 3, opted to play at number 4 to get Desai out for one hit. Although Desai failed to contribute much with just 21 points, he will be needed in the fourth innings as South already have a 248-run lead with three wickets in hand.

Brief results: South Zone 213 and 181 for 7 (Vihari 42, Jadeja 2-27, Sheth 2-38), West Zone 146 (Shaw 65, Kaveerappa 7-53, Wyshak 2-53) with a lead of 248 points.

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