Baba Aparajith wants focus on captaincy for the ACC Emerging Teams Cup

Baba Aparajith wants focus on captaincy for the ACC Emerging Teams Cup

Baba Aparajith
Baba Aparajith of India. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Tamil Nadu’s Baba Aparajith has not had a very good domestic season this year. After being dropped from the Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy team, he is now focused on the job of leading India in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup beginning on Monday in Bangladesh. India take on Sri Lanka U-23 at Chittagong on Monday.

The right-hander had a poor Ranji Trophy season, scoring 153 runs from 11 innings, and was thereafter dropped from the team. The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Zonal wasn’t fruitful either, though he had a half-century in the tourney. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, his performance was much better, scoring 282 runs including two 50-plus scores.

Happy to have been chosen as the captain for the national Under-23 squad, the Aparajith said he is eager to redeem himself from the Vijay Hazare Trophy performance and also lead by example at the ACC Emerging Teams Cup.

“I was doing things exactly the same way as I was when things were falling into place. Somehow the runs weren’t coming. But deep inside, I knew that it was only a matter of time before the runs would flow again and all I had to do was to keep following my routine,” he said of his mid-season slump.

The focus is now on the upcoming challenge. “Now I am focussed to this tournament (ACC Emerging Teams Cup). It is a good challenge apart from being an honour. I am not new to the role of captain (he led VB Thiruvallur Veerans in the inaugural TNPL last year) but have not done it for an Indian squad. Being captain can add to one’s game,” the 22-year-old told PTI.

Aparajith was also a part of the Indian team which won the under-19 World Cup in 2012. He feels that getting runs and wickets in Bangladesh can boost his confidence ahead of the forthcoming IPL. His performance bettered from the longer format to the shorter one (Ranji to Vijay Hazare)

“I knew I could do better. I approached my personal coach (Balaji), who is always a great support and the team (India Cements) coach J R Madanagopal. They told me to stick to my work ethic and success would follow,” he said.