Big-hitting Tajinder wants to entertain Paltan

When you boast a career strike-rate of 152 in Twenty20 cricket, you are bound to be considered special. Meet Tajinder Singh Dhillon, a well-built all-rounder who hails from Dholpur. In the recently-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the 25-year-old raked up some impressive numbers as Rajasthan put up a brilliant show, only to lose to Delhi in the summit clash. His 198 runs (at a strike-rate of 172), eight wickets and five catches caught the eye of the Mumbai Indians think-tank. After an interesting auction battle with Rajasthan Royals, we picked up Dhillon for Rs 55 lakh.

Proud and humble in equal measure, this sardar is one of the most exciting talents around. Given that he never played age-group cricket for his state, Dhillon deserves a lot of credit for breaking into the Rajasthan senior team for all formats. Now, he is preparing hard for his debut season in the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL).

Dhillon may have only just joined the MI family but as a member of the Reliance 1 team, he has already taken part in a couple of Twenty20 tournaments. He and some of the other MI players are now in Goa, honing their skills ahead of the big season. “The preparation is good. Just recently, we won the DY Patil Cup and even here, we have qualified for the final (of the Goa Corporate League). The best thing is that all MI players are in good touch and are performing well,” Dhillon says.

Tajinder Singh has all the makings of a fine all-rounder. He is pretty handy with the bat, as his numbers suggest. He possesses a First Class century, and a fifty-plus score in List A and T20 cricket for Rajasthan. What is even more impressive in the T20 format, is his daunting strike rate, which stands at a mighty 152.60. His economy rate is under seven, and Singh claimed a four-wicket haul during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, a couple of months ago. Leading up to the VIVO IPL, the talented all-rounder has accumulated some runs and wickets under his belt, and feels he is baking perfectly before he gets his chance with MI. “I am in good form! In the last match, I scored a half-century and was the man-of-the-match. Before that too, I scored an unbeaten 37 runs from 15 balls so I think, overall it’s good.

Like most players his age, Dhillon wants to do whatever’s best for his team. He will be keen on making an appearance for MI, even though the competition to get into the playing XI will be tight. However, he is eager to soak in the atmosphere and garner as much knowledge as possible. “My only target is to make useful contributions to the team’s cause. And, it is my dream to make my team win the cup for the fourth time.”

Dhillon knows that the Paltan is a huge force behind MI, and he wants to entertain them wholeheartedly with some big-hitting. “I’d like to just tell them to be ready. The way I hit sixes for Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy, I’ll hit those for MI too.” That’s one ‘mighty’ promise.

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