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Pune Supergiant Rising Higher With The Rise Of Terrific Tripathi

May 5, 2017


Just as it did over the past 9 years, IPL, in its grand 10th edition too has continued in the same manner of churning out the obscure names for the world to watch out. As the tournament has stepped into the double-digits’ mark, IPL has perhaps doubled its supremacy over all the T20 Leagues around the world in terms of the number of its raw talents becoming overnight sensations with their glittering performances – one of such being Rahul Tripathi who has now surely become a household name in Pune after his dazzling 93 of just 52 deliveries against KKR.

Let us dig in a little deeper to find out what he is made of.

Proving credentials of being an aggressive opener: Tripathi has been hogging the limelight this season, playing some spellbinding knocks at the top. At a time when his senior partner Ajinkya Rahane struggled to find rhythm, the youngster came up and took the aggressor’s role. More often than not he motored the charge of his team in the powerplay and hence provided them exactly the kind of start they wanted.

Consistent runs: In the modern era of T20s where 30s are considered as much effective as an ODI half-century is, the newest IPL star has gone past that mark 7 times out of the last 8 innings he played. He has done so with a staggering strike rate of over 150. No team has really been successful to get him out for a low score. The one time he was dismissed cheaply was by his own hand – a poor call resulting in a run out. Apart from that his overall level of consistency has always been a couple of steps ahead of the expectations.

Power-packed display in the powerplays: When it comes to make the most of the fielding restrictions, Tripathi has been absolutely majestic. He has scored more runs than anyone else, smashed most number of boundaries and also has the highest strike rate among all the batsmen (who have faced 40 balls or more) in course of the powerplays. Also his 47 off 18 in the innings (where he went on to make 93) is the quickest in the powerplay overs of IPL 10. He has been a revelation for RPS in this regard and the best bet to deal with the new ball, no matter what kind of a bowler he is facing.

Shot selection: Fluency is something what comes natural to Rahul Tripathi’s batting. There is no half-measures with his stroke-play. He presents a nice full swing of the blade. He likes room outside the off-stump and in case of any width offered there he goes hard at the ball. In the match against KKR he showed how good a player of short ball he is. As Umesh Yadav, the Indian speed-star banged a ball short half a foot above the batsman’s head, Tripathi looked in complete control of that while sending it from the off-stump behind the square for half a dozen. Throughout the tournament he has looked in ease while countering the overseas bowlers as he never played according to their reputations, rather dealt every ball to its merit. Just in case of the last match he took Nathan Coulter-Nile for 4 fours and a six. Not only pace, but he plays spin well too. Usually he doesn’t opt for a scoop or a ramp shot, but he has also shown us that when the opposition is not expecting him to play such strokes and leave certain areas vacate thereby, that’s where he improvises to play an uncharacteristic stroke.

Ability to play big shots: The soft-spoken 26-year-old cricketer, who claims to have hit 6 sixes in an over in local leagues, not once but twice, has done most of the talking with his bat. In the 9 matches played so far he already has 16 sixes to his name. 3 of which were hit on a trot against the Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. Not only it goes to show his ability to pick the variations a left-arm leg-spinner has, but what’s more impressive about that is the way he backs himself to play such strokes. Not a single stroke was struck in anger, all were well executed at the back of sheer self-belief and great preparation.

Ability to play under pressure: It’s never easy for any player to perform in front of a 60,000 Eden-Gardens-crowd that constantly chants “KKR…KKR”. But the RPS opener seemed unaffected by all the noise as he continued to play the way he has been playing throughout the tournament. In a ground where if you pick up a wicket the crowd picks up the rest for you, he did a phenomenal job to keep the local fans quiet. At the same time he was unmoved with the wickets falling at the other end. He kept playing aggressive strokes so that by the time he feels that he might run out of partners the game is done and dusted.

At the start of the tournament who would have thought that the little-known Rahul Tripathi will be discussed more than the heavyweights like Smith and Dhoni! And now the side that looked well on course to yet another distressful season is suddenly looking more and more compact as a unit towards the business end of the league. They seem to be more blessed to have found someone like Tripathi than worried about Stokes heading England soon. It really reminds us the beauty of IPL where wonders are witnessed as the talents meet exactly the stage they need.


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