Vinoo Mankad Trophy: No glove lost as Mongia Jr. prefers bowling spin to wicketkeeping

October 10, 2017

Vinoo Mankad Trophy


MUMBAI: For an 18-year-old, Baroda’s Under-19 skipper, Mohit Mongia has a crystal-clear thought process. He knows what exactly he wants on the cricket field and off it. That he opted to become a left-arm spinner instead of a wicketkeeper like his father, former India stumper Nayan, gives a fair indication about his strong decision making abilities.

Nayan was arguably one of the best wicketkeepers to have played for India. Keeping wickets to someone like Anil Kumble in his prime on Indian wickets was by no means an easy job. Mohit, though, realised very early in his career that keeping wickets wasn’t his cup of tea. So, instead of following in his father’s footsteps, he agreed to his coach Vinit Wadkar’s advice and started working on his slow left-armers.

“My father always told me that wicketkeeping is a thankless job. I also realised that keeping wickets was not meant for me. So when my coach suggested that I start bowling left-arm spin, I was almost immediately convinced,” Mohit, who picked up two Mumbai wickets and helped Baroda restrict the hosts to 143 during their Vinoo Mankad Under-19 One Day match at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra-Kurla Complex facility, told TOI on Monday.

Initially, Mohit started as a spinner, who could chip in with the bat as well. But when he was 14, his coach Wadkar and his father Nayan both convinced him to start focusing on his batting too.

“Modern cricket requires players to be multi-faceted,” Nayan noted. “He was bowling well and was making useful contributions with the bat. Both me and Wadkar were convinced that it was about time Mohit started taking his batting a bit more seriously,” the former India stumper stressed.

For his part, Mohit took that advice seriously and started spending more time in the nets. “I was more of a bowling allrounder initially. But after having a word with my father and coach, I started spending a lot more time on my batting. Today, I can safely say that I am a batting allrounder,” Mohit who also scored an unbeaten run-a-ball 55 to guide Baroda home with 7 wickets to spare, said.

Talking about the win against Mumbai in the opener, Mohit said: “We did not expect to win so convincingly. But our bowlers bowled really well. We wanted to restrict Mumbai between 175-200, but we got them all out for 143, which was quite unexpected to be honest. It was a good wicket to bat on and we enjoyed playing here. We thought we were comfortable while chasing the target, so that’s why we chose to bowl.”

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