Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: The senior cricket team of Assam left for Kolkata this evening to take part in the forthcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Cricket tournament slated from January 10. Rishav Das, who will lead the team in the meet, in an interaction with The Sentinel over telephone, shares his views on team's preparation and a few other areas. Here is the excerpt.
The Sentinel (TS): Does COVID-19 make cricket a little different this time?
Rishav: Hmmm…not so much. Yes. Outside the ground we have to follow a few strict rules related to our health. However, inside the ground it's still a battle of bat and ball.
TS: All of you will return into competitive cricket through this competition after a long break. How is the preparation?
Rishav: Although we returned into the ground recently after a long lay-off due to COVID-19, yet I feel it won't create any problem in our performance in the forthcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Cricket tournament. The reason is that we have made solid preparations for it. Our preparations started with fitness camp and ended with a few practice matches which were held under floodlight. Coaches even organized a few sessions where bowlers and batsmen faced match-like situations like how to bat top order during the first five overs of the game, or 6-15 overs of the match or how the bowlers should restrict the batsmen on slog overs etc. So I am very happy with the preparations.
TS: This time you have to play a couple of matches under floodlight...
Rishav: Yes. I have earlier mentioned that we have played a few practice matches under floodlight. I want to give special thanks to Assam Cricket Association for organizing those flood-light matches which were very essential for our preparations.
TS: What about the team composition?
Rishav: I say it is a good mixture of youth and experience. In the bowling, Arup and Pritam will play the role of senior while they would get support from a few young stars like Mrinmoy, Mukhtar, Rahul and others. In the batting I have to take a lot of responsibility along with Amit and Pallav. Riyan, Avishek… are also very dependable. The most positive thing is that all of them are in good touch and performed well in the practice matches which we had played against Railways recently.
TS: Share head coach Ratra's role in the building of the team for the forthcoming season?
Rishav: Our coach is really doing a good job. What I love in him is that he doesn't put anything on us. Whenever coach tries to implement some plans he first talks with the cricketers and tries to collect input from them. This makes our dressing room atmosphere very friendly.
TS: What is captain's message to the cricketers?
Rishav: My message to my players is very simple. Go with a positive mindset and give hundred percent on the ground.