New challenge awaits Anukul Roy

Anukul Roy was the joint highest wicket-taker (14 wickets) in the recently concluded ICC Under-19 World Cup held in New Zealand. This 19-year-old left-hand orthodox spinner made headlines when he took a 4-fer and a 5-fer in back-to-back games in that tournament. His top-class performance grabbed the attention across all the tables during the auction, but he was destined to play in the MI blue. This quick rise in his career has certainly boosted his confidence, but at the same time, it has provided him a big opportunity to make an impact in the cricketing world. He is keen on learning and training and currently, that is the primary thing he will be focusing on. “I feel I’m going to get a chance to play alongside great players. I’ll get to learn a lot from them and will naturally get a good foresight because of that. Observing the way senior players play is the key thing I’ll focus on. It is a great feeling to be in the Mumbai Indians squad.”

There are a lot of senior players playing at the international stage, who once represented the U-19 World Cup squad and won it for the country. This fact will certainly boost Anukul’s confidence as he will be playing with and against a few of them in the upcoming Vivo IPL. The combination of the exposure he had in New Zealand and the experience of the senior players, will play a crucial role in Anukul’s development as a player. “I’m eager to share my experience with the senior players. Also, I will be receiving some great insight about how the preparations go around while playing at such a big stage. It will not only be helpful for my bowling, but also for my fielding and batting performance.”

Although, he will be bowling in the nets to big-hitters like Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Evin Lewis and Hardik Pandya, Anukul is confident that he can do well. “I’m excited to bowl to every one of them because I will be bowling them for the first time. I have experience of bowling to MS Dhoni in the nets, and it will be interesting to see the response I get when I bowl to these experienced hard-hitters in the MI squad.”

As a 19-year-old, Anukul will share the dressing room with all the big players in the squad at such a young age. He will experience things closely as he is going to be the part of their strategies. “It is a beautiful feeling. I will get to see the way they plan things in the dressing room. I’ll get to see what kind of preparation is required to play at this stage of cricket. There’s a lot to learn for me.”

Anukul Roy was coached by Rahul Dravid for the ICC U-19 World Cup and now he will be training under MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene. He will also be mentored by the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Robin Singh, Lasith Malinga and Shane Bond. Anukul is exhilarated with their presence in the MI coaching staff. “Every one of them is a legend. I have no words to describe that feeling. They all are immensely experienced, and I’ll get to learn a lot from them. I’ve trained under Rahul (Dravid) sir and now I will be training under these legends. It is going to be great fun. I can’t wait to get started.”

Anukul knows which fixture will test his skills. His keenness to face the toughest opponent only shows the confidence he has in his abilities. “I’m excited to play against RCB. They’ve players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, who are known to score at will. It will be interesting to bowl to them and if I can stop them from scoring, that will be extremely good for me. That excites me a lot!”

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