Maharashtra Ranji’s pillar of calm

After 762 runs in Ranji season, Harshad Khadiwale wants to have a good show in limited overs

The sense of absolute calm is hard to miss when Harshad Khadiwale walks out to bat. The unhurried steps, the unwavering gaze and the absence of any emotion on his boyish face are testament to an uncluttered mind and assured demeanour.

After scoring a century, the 24-year-old raises his bat almost apologetically to acknowledge the cheering from teammates. There is no pumping of fists or yanking off the helmet. Not a word of elation escapes his lips.

"I still haven't understood why people take off their helmets after a ton. I have never believed in too much celebration and I don't think I will ever conspicuously celebrate a milestone," says Khadiwale who has nine first-class centuries behind him.

Khadiwale has had much to celebrate this year. He aggregated 762 at an average of 58.61 in 13 innings. He scored a couple of centuries and could have had a couple more, had he not fallen twice in the nineties.

"It was a great feeling to score big runs this season. I am usually a late starter but this time I scored a fifty in my first game and since then, have been scoring. However, my two centuries came in the last two matches so I didn't deviate much from the usual," chuckles the pint-sized right-hander.

The 24-year-old veteran of 48 first-class matches says that for all his good work at the top of the order this season, he feels a sense of disappointment.

"I scored big runs this year but in the end we still got relegated. It took a little bit of satisfaction away but we played well as a team. Yes, we lost a few crucial sessions but we gave it our all this time," he says.

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