#COCExclusive Interview with Manan Vohra: "My focus now is to excel in 4-day games"

The 23-year-old right-handed batsman, Manan Vohra, is one of the most promising cricketers around at the moment and is better suited to the shorter formats of the game. Manan plays for Punjab in the domestic circuit and represents Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He made his presence felt in the 2014 season of the IPL in which he scored 324 runs in 8 games at an average of 40.
In an exclusive interview with Circle of Cricket, Manan Vohra talks about how he had developed his cricket and relation with his mentors.
Q) You have been described as the next big thing in Indian Cricket. How has your journey been so far?
A) Yeah, it is always a good feeling to be talked about. The journey has been very good so far. I started playing cricket at the age of 7 and I am slowly but surely developing my game to the next level.
Q) Not many people are aware of the fact that you are the grandson of former Hockey India player Yashpal Vohra. Has he inspired you in any way?
A) Yeah, it is really inspiring. My father and grandfather both have helped me a lot in my upbringing. It is always good to have people from the sports background in your family.  My grandfather always told me to keep working hard and rest will be taken care of by the almighty.
Q) Father of Yuvraj, Yograj Singh, has been mentoring you for quite some time now. What are the aspects of the game you have learnt from him?
A) Yograj Sir has been my coach since I was a child and he really helped me in shaping up my career. His batting tips have worked well for me and I happen to share a good rapport with Yuvi bhai as well as he was always around.
Q) After doing well at the Under-19 level, you were drafted to the KXIP side and from there you rose to prominence. How important has IPL been in shaping up your career?
A) IPL is definitely a huge platform for any young cricketer. When I joined KXIP, I was very eager to go all out and make a name for myself on the big stage. You also get to learn a lot from the fellow teammates.
Q) You have played alongside greats like Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh in your career so far. What are the few things you have learnt from them?
A) Always enjoyed working with Viru Paaji as he was player and later mentor for Kings XI Punjab. And Yuvi Paaji and Bhajji Paaji supported me a lot which we were playing for the Punjab side. They’ve always told me to work hard and give my best, good things will happen by itself.
Q) Who is your cricketing idol and who are your favorites in the Current Indian Team?
A) Sachin Tendulkar has always been my hero. He is definitely the God of Cricket for me. I have a  poster of him in my room too.
In the current team, Virat Kohli is my favourite. He has led by example and his performances speak for himself.
Q) You sustained a fracture recently. How did the injury happen and how is it now?
A) I was struggling with my wrist since the IPL but I continued playing in pain. Once I got back to some training with the Punjab team, my wrist started to pain a lot more and later realized that it was a fracture. Hopefully, it will take a couple of weeks more to recover.
Q) Considering the fact that you are just 23, are you a party animal or a family oriented person? If yes, Did you guys party a lot during the IPL?
A) I have always been a family man and I love spending time with my family. I am not the kind of guy who would like to go to the club and party hard for long hours. I enjoy peace and am quite simple that way. Parties have stopped taking place during IPL.
Q) Do you have a serious girlfriend or you like being single? Do you think having a girlfriend can be distracting at times?
A) At the moment, I am single and pretty happy that way.  Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. I personally do not like to mix my personal life with professional life. You just need to know how to balance things.
Q) According to you, who is the hottest celebrity alive on the planet?
A) Always been Jacqueline Fernandez for me (Laughs). Really admire her for her looks and also for her acting in movies.
Q) Your Punjab teammate and good friend, Mandeep Singh, is one person who is very jolly and fun loving. Can you share any such memory with us?
A) Mandeep is one amazing guy who loves to have fun. Can’t think of one particular memory but then he keeps the spirits high where ever he goes. He has a great sense of humour.
Q) What are your plans for the upcoming domestic season?
A) My focus this year is on the 4-day games as I want to improve my batting in the longer format of the game. Have already started to work hard on my batting.

By Umesh Lakhmani - 28 Jul, 2016

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