Prakhar Chaturvedi sounded bushed, understandable if an 18-year-old bats 638 balls to score a record-setting 404, but elation was unmistakable too as he trained eyes on Karnataka U23 and Ranji Trophy debuts. On Monday, Chaturvedi became the first quadruple centurion in the Cooch Behar Trophy final as his knock earned Karnataka their maiden title in the U19 tournament. During his unbeaten knock, Chaturvedi also broke former India batter Yuvraj Singh’s 24-year-old record of 358, the previous highest score in a Cooch Behar title clash.
Riding on Chaturvedi’s innings, Karnataka made 890 for eight in 223 overs, replying to Mumbai’s 380 all out in the final at Shivamogga.
“It is a great feeling. I am delighted that the innings came in the final, and helped Karnataka earn the first title (Cooch Behar). Feeling a bit tired but, yes, nothing can match the happiness of a team winning the title and you are contributing to it,” Chaturvedi told PTI.
Chaturvedi comes from a household that has placed academics as the first priority as his father, Sanjay Kumar Chaturvedi, owns a software firm in Electronics City, while Rupa, his mother, is a technical advisor in DRDO.
But that has not prevented them from allowing their son to pursue his heart’s calling.
“They have been very supportive of me from the time I took up cricket as an eight-year-old. They had even availed me of the services of a private throwdown expert during the (Covid-19) lockdown. Fortunately, I have been able to carry both cricket and studies together,” he added.
Chaturvedi gave a lot of credit to his coach Karthik Jeshwant for his development as a cricketer.
Jeshwant coaches Chaturvedi at the SIX Cricket Academy at the Padukone-Dravid Centre for Excellence here.
“Jeshwant sir is technically very knowledgeable. He quickly spots even the minutest technical error in my batting. It is a blessing that I am able to work with a coach like him,” said Chaturvedi.
Jeshwant, a former Karnataka captain, coach and selector, is an impressed man. “Prakhar is a dedicated boy. He keeps coming to the academy (near Devanahalli) from his home (Bellandur), which is quite a distance away.
“Apart from his good technique, his biggest quality is his ability to handle pressure. He has a mature head on his shoulders, and hopefully we can see him climbing the ladders soon,” said Jeshwant.
Former Karnataka opener and their current Under-19 coach KB Pawan has little doubt about Chaturvedi’s progress in the game.
“It is an outstanding achievement. He was the highest run-getter (in Cooch Behar) last year, but his time he was having a little tough time despite getting two hundreds. However, he never took too much pressure on himself, which was quite heartening as a coach.
“But he chose the perfect occasion, the final, and a fine opponent, Mumbai, to play such an innings. He is such a keen listener and coachable kid. I have been watching him from the U14 days, and the kid has the potential to play for Karnataka soon,” said Pawan.
Pawan had a word of praise for the whole Karnataka bunch as well. “There has been this desire to win within the camp even before the tournament started. We completely dominated the tournament except for an average match against Uttar Pradesh.
“There was a good vibe within the team coming into the final after our commanding wins in the quarterfinal and semifinal. I am sure many of these kids will soon don the Karnataka jersey,” he added.
Chaturvedi’s aim too is not different. “Now, I want to graduate to state U23 and then to Ranji Trophy at the earliest. Hopefully, I can tackle bigger challenges,” he noted.
Karnataka management too will be hoping to have a closer look at Chaturvedi after they crashed to a stunning six-run defeat against Gujarat while chasing 110 at Motera, Ahmedabad.
Perhaps, Chaturvedi’s climb will start much sooner than even he envisages.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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