A star in the making, is he?

A star in the making, is he?

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 2016-01-05 23:43 Notching a hundred is a Herculean task for teenage cricketers. They need skill, footwork, technique, timing and loads of temperament to reach the coveted figure. Scoring a double or a triple hundred is even more difficult. So when a 15-year-old scores an unconquered 1009 (yeah 1009), he ought to be very special. Pranav Dhanawade created history when he made those mind boggling runs against Arya Gurukul School in the HT Bhandari inter-school tournament organized by the Mumbai Cricket Association. For the record, he is the only batsman in any level of competitive cricket score in the excess of thousand runs in an innings. During his blistering assault, the KC Gandhi School lad swept past the previous world record of 628 not out, which had stood in the name of AEJ Collins (1899).  He also bettered the highest score made by a Mumbaikar (546 by Prithvi Shaw in the Harris Shield). As did Collins’ record stand for 116 years, Dhanawade’s will last a century. Probably, it will remain unchallenged. But, when someone scores at astonishing strike rate of 312.38, we ought to assess the environment the world record scores – individual and team (1465) were achieved in – the quality of the opponent and the size of the ground. Obviously, when the rival team is shot out for a niggardly 31, its talent is questionable. The coach himself has admitted that it wasn’t the school’s first eleven, as most of the boys were busy preparing for the exams. Were the boundaries big or small? When Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kamble knit the record 664-run partnership for Shardashram Vidya Mandir against St Xaviers in the Harris Shield, the runs were made at the Azad Maidan, where the boundaries are defined by the umpires. There are no boundary markers! But we are told the Union Cricket Academy ground in Wayale nagar is a rather small, the square boundaries being barely 35 to 40 metres. With the bowlers offering cannon fodder, Dhanawade made merry, his blitzkrieg lasting a mere 323 balls. As many as 129 boundaries and 59 sixes thundered from his willow, accounting for a whopping 870 runs. Stunning! Whatever be the strength of the opposition and the distance of the pickets from the square, we can’t take the credit away from this Dhanawade, who hails from a very humble background. The connoisseur wouldn’t want to read too much into this rare achievement. But as our coach would say “a hundred is a hundred,” --- a thousand is a thousand. Not many teens would dream of amassing that many runs in a season, playing as many as 20 games. Obviously, Dhanwade has been blessed with a good hand-eye coordination, which was Virender Sehwag’s forte. To hit the ball through the line; spank and swat it to point and mid-wicket manifests that he has natural talent. With guidance he could get better, play in more recognized tournaments and earn a place in the Mumbai junior teams. We had not heard of Pranav Dhanawade and H T Bhandari inter-school tournament until yesterday. If he continues to score big runs, he could be a star-in-the-making. Let’s hope Dhanawade continues to rock on the cricket field. For now, he is the toast of the town.