Consistent Eklavya Dwivedi aims for bigger things
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The Uttar Pradesh vs Services Group B Ranji Trophy match was lit up with a stellar performance by wicketkeeper-batsman Eklavya Dwivedi. The youngster, a right-handed lower-order batsman, played a pivotal role in ensuring an innings win for Uttar Pradesh, scoring a fighting 131 to help his side reach 369 in reply to Services' meagre total of 164. This was Dwivedi's third match of the season and the 25-year old has already smashed 220 runs at an average of 73.33.
With at least three more matches left to play for this season, there is every chance that it will be a memorable season for the wicket-keeper bat. While it is easier for the batsmen up the order, Dwivedi feels the presence of all-rounders in the team helps him play longer knocks. Playing at no. 6 or 7 also gives him time to rest a bit.
"In the longer format I have to keep in mind that I have to keep for 90-100 overs every match before I go into bat. When I bat lower down the order, it helps me recuperate and assess the game well before going into bat. I'm fine batting at no. 6 or 7 because there are plenty of all-rounders in our team and it is not that I don't have people to bat around me,' says Dwivedi.
Dwivedi faced stiff competition from Amir Khan, the other wicketkeeper in the squad. Even this year, Eklavya had to wait for his turn as Amir Khan played the first couple of matches.
"It is not really competition. I don't look at it like that. I just need to keep working hard on my game and keep improving every season. I don't care who is doing what, and who is not doing what," he says.
It was not just the opening matches, but also a practice fixture against the touring West Indies, that Amir Khan found a place in the playing XI ahead of Dwivedi. He was disappointed on missing out on a 'great opportunity', but was keen to make amends.
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