Bengal’s Ishan Porel impressed one and all during the recently concluded Ranji Trophy season. The 21-year-old fast bowler, who was repeatedly struggling with injuries after the U-19 World Cup triumph in New Zealand two years back, played a key role in Bengal’s journey to the final.
Porel played only six Ranji games this season due to India ‘A’ commitments and he finished the tournament with 23 scalps to his name, including a 7-wicket haul in the semi-final against Karnataka.
In an exclusive chat with India TV, Porel on Thursday (March 19) spoke about his transformation from Under-19 to senior cricket.
“It has indeed been a tough journey. In this short period, I have incurred many injuries and subsequently suffered setbacks. Like for my knee injury, I was out for five or six months. I even had a stress fracture on my left upper rib. During World Cup U-19, I had twisted my ankle. So injuries have been a major challenge for me and it has helped me become a better bowler. Besides, my parents, coaches and friends have always been there to push me,” he said.
Impressed with Porel’s heroics in the Ranji semi-final, Bengal coach Arun Lal backed the young pacer to dismiss even the legendary Virat Kohli.
Asked about Lal’s comment, Ishan said: “Actually I had read about Arun Sir's statement next day in the paper when someone had texted me the same. Obviously I would love to bowl to Kohli. He is right now the greatest batsman to our era. It would be a dream moment for me as a youngster or as a growing cricketer.”
In the semi-final, Porel troubled India opener KL Rahul with his pace and swing before dismissing him for a duck in the second innings. He also got rid of Test specialist Hanuma Vihari during the First-Class tournament.
“Before and after practice, we have video sessions regarding the match where we discussed the various bowling tactics. And for every batsman, we had a specific plan. But more importantly, we need to execute things properly in the middle regardless of whether it was KL Rahul or Hanuma Vihari. Yes, they do have some areas where we need to target. to get them out. But for me, when I was in the field, I felt like I was bowling to any other batsman,” he said.
After the magnificent Ranji season, the youngster also has a stint with IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab to look forward to. But the threat of COVID-19 pandemic is looming large over the Indian Premier League 2020 and the cash-rich event has now been postponed from March 29 to April 15.
“All youngsters need a platform and IPL provides us with that. Nothing would be better for me than a good performance in the IPL season. And I hope I get a good amount of chances to prove myself,” he remarked.