Manan Vohra, the Kings XI Punjab batsman, is delighted to be in the India A limited-overs squad that will tour Australia this summer. The team will contest a quadrangular tournament also featuring Australia A, South Africa A and the Australian National Performance squad. Vohra had a very good IPL and scored crucial runs for his team, ensuring that they got to the final.
Vohra said, “It is the biggest break of my life. I am one step closer to my goal of representing India and I would like to thank all those people who have worked on my game. It is going to be good. I am not under any pressure. I don’t think it helps. I will just try to carry the momentum from IPL. After all, it is a contest between bat and ball; form, reputation and expectations matter only when one thinks about them.”
He added, “I haven’t played too many first-class games but I try to make it count. Representing India in Tests is my ultimate goal but that doesn’t mean I don’t like other formats. I am looking to do well in Australia and in the coming first class season. I am keen to grab whatever opportunity comes my way,” said Vohra, who also scored more than 400 runs in six Ranji Trophy games this season.
Vohra admitted it was difficult to be on the bench in the initial stages of IPL 7, “You can’t control such things. It’s a team sport and I had to wait for my turn. I kept telling myself that good times were round the corner and in the end I got my chance. These are situations you can’t fret on. I had to miss the Under-19 World Cup in 2012 owing to an injury and was a bit disoriented. It was a big miss, considering how important the tournament can be for young cricketers. Thankfully, my family stood behind me. My grandfather, parents and all those who were close to me rallied behind. Sharing dressing rooms with Virender Sehwag, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey was a huge learning experience. It taught me to the art of handling pressure and the way to prepare for big games.”
He also realises that it does not help to play quick inning and then get out, adding, “I know I threw away my wicket away in every game. I was hoping to convert a few innings into big knocks but that didn’t happen. Perhaps I will have to improve technically and mentally. I spoke with my coach Yograj Singh (former India fast bowler and Yuvraj Singh’s father). He will help me. There are areas that need fine-tuning. I will have to work on my concentration and focus. Focus needs clearing your mind of all possible distractions. There are so many things which can take away your attention. It has always happened in pasts. In places like Australia, the media is very strong. Then there is Twitter and Facebook, people say good things and bad things at the same time. Though these things are not under your control and should not affect you, they end up doing that. My coach has often told me that I should work on things that are in my control. There is no bigger joy than the chance to represent India.”