Kolkata: Bengal wicket-keeper batsman Sreevats Goswami’s sparkling 139 on the first day of the Ranji Trophy match against Goa at the Eden Gardens bailed Bengal out of trouble and put them in the driver’s seat as the day ended. The left-hander, who didn’t have a good season so far with the willow, despite getting starts felt that it is the person himself who is to be relied upon to come out of a lean patch.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Goswami, whose innings turned the match around completely in Bengal’s favour said, “I had to overcome that phase myself. I have been unlucky a lot of times as I have run out quite a number of times and the runs weren’t coming as well. For me, it was an ideal situation as at 20/3, I felt that I needed to get a big score to help the team and I approached that situation positively. ”
“Yes there was a problem with my mindset. But I began thinking positively. There’s no real time to mentally prepare due to the schedule. You have to do whatever you can within four days and you can’t go away and do something very new to prepare. We have to carry on with that only and talk to yourself.”
“I think when someone is out of form, the best person to bring you in form is you yourself. No matter what positive things people say as ultimately it’s on you as to how you bounce back.”
Bengal were in all sorts of trouble at 20/3 but a steady partnership with Abhimanyu Easwaran helped Sreevats lift Bengal to 79 when the former fell for 46. But then, he shared a huge stand with Anustup Majumdar who too scored a wonderful century and would look to carry on in the same manner on the second day as well.
Opening up on the stand, he said, “Both of us (me and Anustup) were actually very chilled out in the pitch. When he came to the crease, I was batting at almost 40, and we didn’t put much pressure on ourselves. We were normal and were playing positive cricket. We complimented each other pretty well.”
When asked about how difficult the wicket was to bat on, Sreevats said, “The wicket, I think is a proper Eden Gardens wicket. The ball moves in the morning and you can play your shots after lunch and before tea. Batting here is a challenge initially and the ball was carrying to the wicket-keeper all throughout the day.”
Left-handers always carry that extra amount of grace and elegance which is seen when a southpaw drives one through the covers. The bat flows and the follow-through is a majestic one, much like how Sreevats played today. A stroke-player by nature, the wicket-keeper batsman revealed that he played his natural game, which made all the difference.
He said, “When I walked in, we were 20/3 so I was initially trying to pile up the runs even if we got out early because if we have a lot of runs then we would be on the front foot. When I started middling the ball, obviously it was a good feeling and the more time I spent at the crease, the more comfortable I became.”
“When I didn’t score in the earlier matches, I had this feeling that I wasn’t playing my game. But today when I walked in, I had decided that whatever be the situation, I’ll go and play my natural game and play every ball on it’s merit. Luckily I got the ball in the right places and that’s why I was able to convert it to big scores.”
Further commenting on the nature of his innings, he said, “I think this was a very crucial innings because this is the last match before the knockout stages and we haven’t yet qualified despite being almost there. They won the toss, which I think was a very vital toss to win and at 20/3, we had to stabilise the innings. I and Abhimanyu had a brief partnership but Abhi also got out and then I had that long partnership with Anustup, which I think helped in creating the momentum and it is always good to have runs in the first innings.”