With Ahmedabad and Lucknow set to make their debut, Rahul Singh eyes IPL 2022 mega auction for a further boost to his cricketing career.
“Have dismissed him earlier as well while playing for Himachal Pradesh. Felt soothed after outfoxing him while playing for Services this time around.”
Services spinner Rahul Singh vividly paints the sight through the corner of his eye; that of him dismissing the Karnataka and India batter Mayank Agarwal in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22.
“Caught at short Cover,” exclaims the 29-year-old left-arm spinner as he jogs down the memory lane to reminisce the particular day in Tamil Nadu when he dismissed Agarwal during his Under-25 days for Himachal Pradesh. Cut to 2021, those nostalgic moments are brought back to life, albeit the fielder on this occasion was stationed at long-off.
“The wicket at Guwahati was good. Had to bowl away from his body, a bit flat through the air, and not too full. And of course with a significant amount of rotation to the ball, and boom!”, describes Rahul as he dismissed Agarwal (28 off 29) in an Elite Group B match between Services and Karnataka a couple of weeks ago.
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Rahul Singh eyes IPL 2022 mega auctions
Having played a total of 25 matches in the T20 format since 2013 and bowled at an economy rate of 6.7, Rahul believes he has it in him to don an IPL franchise jersey and hopefully play for one in the near future.
“Ask my friends and the near ones, they believe I should have been picked 2-3 years ago by an IPL franchise”, states an ever confident Rahul having his eyes set on IPL 2022 mega auction.
The Services spinner was part of the Rajasthan Royals’ camp in 2019 and had also appeared at the trials for the Kolkata Knight Riders last year before being shortlisted at the IPL auctions this year.
While the progress has apparently been smooth thus far, he has managed to pick up only a couple of wickets in this year’s SMAT, having featured in only three matches for his side. Services, in fact finished last at the points table from Elite Group B, managing only one win out of five encounters.
“Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 would be once-in-a-while opportunity”- Rahul Singh
With the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy set to commence from December 8 this year, the 29-year-old is currently training with his Services team at Delhi’s Palam A Stadium.
While he aims to make a notable performance on a personal front in view of the 2022 mega IPL Auctions, Singh’s focus currently is to aid his side to make it through to the knockout stage.
“Our performances would only get recognized if we make it through to the knock out stage. In a country as big as ours, individual performances would only count and get noticed when we collectively perform as a unit. Cricket is a team sport. You simply cannot put yourself ahead of the team even if you wish to,” Rahul added.
The left-arm spinner sheds further light on the matter by stating that those players have an advantage in terms of selection whose teams have done well (made it through to the knockouts) frequently in the domestic circuit.
“There’s a reason you see so many players from say Mumbai, getting selected at the highest level because they have won so many domestic titles. Once the team does well, individuals from that team start getting recognized,” exclaimed Singh.
“As a player, one can only control the controllables”- Rahul Singh
With the 2022 mega auctions of the IPL around the corner in two months’ time, the off-spinner from Kaithal, Haryana, is more hopeful than ever to get picked by a franchise.
In fact, with two new teams – Ahmedabad and Lucknow, set to make their maiden IPL appearance in 14 years of the league’s stellar existence till date, his eyes gets lit up learning the prospect in store for him by the beginning of next year.
However, instead of getting overawed by the magnanimity of the upcoming event, Rahul has doubled up his hard work.
“I’ve been working really hard. Have been practicing with a single wicket at sight every day. As a player, one can only control the controllables. The amount of hard work I can put in is the only aspect of the game which is under my control. I leave everything else in God’s hand.”
Having spent some good 25 days at the Rajasthan Royals’ camp a couple of years ago, Singh was overawed witnessing the ‘workaholic’ Australia batter Steve Smith putting in hard yards day in and out. And it is his words of advice that will always remain with him, and remind him of the significance of persistent hard work.
“It was amazing how he [Steve Smith] instilled confidence within me. He told me that the reason I’ve been a regular in the domestic circuit for so long, is because I’ve never shied away from hard work. He made me believe that your hard yards would never go to waste ever.”
“Players getting selected via IPL performances is good for Indian Cricket”-Rahul Singh
With players like Venkatesh Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Avesh Khan and the likes getting rewarded with an Indian national team call-up post their exceptional performances in the IPL, the Services spinner exclaims Indian Cricket couldn’t have asked for anything more.
He further opined that although it might seem harsh on the domestic Cricket players apparently, but the ones selected have done well in their domestic games as well.
“If you talk about say Venkatesh [Iyer], it’s not as if a few good matches in the IPL was the sole reason for his selection in the Indian Team.
He has proved himself quite a few times in the domestic matches previously while representing his state. The selectors aren’t naïve”.
“Luck in Cricket isn’t a bad thing”- Rahul Singh
While he believes that hard work does bear the juicy fruit one day or the other, Singh doesn’t rule out the ‘luck factor’ and believes it isn’t a bad thing to have by your side, especially after you’ve worked so hard.
“Sometimes a brilliant shot by the batter goes straight into the fielder’s hands. The other time a fielder might put down a sitter after the bowler deceived the batter.
“As a casual viewer of the sport, one might say that the bowler did it because he was lucky for some reason. But, you do deserve some luck after having worked so hard. People don’t get it, but it’s fine.”
Rahul Singh is set to give it his all for Services at the Vijay Hazare trophy 2021-22. Services are placed in the Elite Group E and will face the Railways side in the first encounter on December 8. Assam, Goa, Punjab, and Rajasthan are the other teams in their group.