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Ravneet Ricky-Waiting to cut loose

India have been on the look out for a quality opening batsman in the recent past. They have converted many middle order batsmen into openers with pretty bad results. The time has come to quit experimenting and give a good young opening batsman a run. Ravneet Ricky could very easily be the perfect man for the job.

Opening the innings in the Youth World Cup in Sri Lanka in the company of Manish Sharma, Ricky caught the eye of all the scribes present. The way he used his feet to the spinners drew immediate comparison to another Sardar who opened for India with a high degree of success - Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Driving with authority against the medium pacers, Ricky usually gets his eye well in before going after the bowling. Playing with a straight bat in the 'V' Ricky prefers not to take undue risks. After he gets settled however, it is an entirely different ball game. Ricky loves to use his feet to the spinners. When spin is first introduced into the attack it is more often than not after the first 15 overs have been bowled. By that stage, Ricky is so confident that he is most likely to come down the track and hit the ball back past the bowler in the very first over of spin he plays.

Modern cricket has ruined many an opening batsman. Attempting to tonk the ball over the in field in the first 15 overs when fielders are up in the circle, many batsmen have lost touch with their fundamentals. When in a period of good form, everything seems so easy. The hand and eye co ordination is superb in a patch of good form and batsmen get away with taking risks. However, as the old saying goes, "form is temporary, class is permanent." And when a batsman strikes a bad patch, he has to go back to his fundamentals. This is where Ricky is strong. He has simplified his technique to an extent that makes it easy for him to adapt.

Always trying to dominate, Ricky has proven to be a good find for his state side. But it was the Indian Youth team that clinched the World Cup in Sri Lanka that benefited most from his talents. Making almost 350 runs at an average of over 40, Ricky helped India get off to a solid start time and time again.

Ravneet Ricky will soon begin training at the National Cricket Academy with other youngsters who are on the fringes of national selection. Under the tutelage of the coaches at the academy, Ricky will be able to put the final touches on his game.

After that, the ball will be in the court of the selectors… It's about time they let this young man loose at the national level.

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Ravneet Ricky

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