Borah making all the right choices

Borah making all the right choices

Jay Borah in action during the Cottonian Shield. DH photo/ S K Dinesh

Jay Borah’s life is a reflection of his choices. And the youngster has a knack of making the right ones.

Apart from his exploits in cricket, Borah was a sprinter, producing consistent podium finishes in school. Four years ago, he faced the big task of selecting one permanent path between the two. Athletics or cricket? Today, Borah is happy with what he picked.  

“I know I was doing a good job in athletics in school. But I was equally keen on cricket. I somehow felt cricket will surely take me somewhere so I chose it in my sixth grade,” recollects Borah, a 10th-grade student of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School.

A year after he made the decision, Borah found himself in a familiar situation. Coached first by Ramdas, Borah started off as a leg-spinner. But in the Cottonian Shield tournament, the team management’s plan to have a left-right opening combination saw him execute a new role.

“I was asked to open. I slammed 87 in the first match and then scored an unbeaten 119. Later, I began improving as a batsman under Irfan Sait sir at the Karnataka Institute of Cricket (KIOC). I played plenty of matches at KIOC. Gradually, batting became my priority,” says the 16-year-old.     

Having made the right call again, the southpaw piled up big runs consistently. Last year, he amassed 1917 runs from seven tournaments, with seven centuries and 14 half-centuries.

After he earned the best all-rounder award in the Cottonian Shield for his three half-centuries and 16 wickets, Borah had a decent outing for Karnataka in the U-16 Vijay Merchant tournament. The left-handed top-order batsman accumulated 409 runs from seven games, with notable knocks of 106 (vs Hyderabad), 76 (vs Puducherry) and 117 (vs Kerala).      

“He just knows what he wants to do,” says his mother Grace, an office manager at Trivium eSolutions Pvt Ltd. “Whenever he has struggled for form, he wouldn’t get bogged down. He would just head to the ‘nets’ and practice for long hours,” she says.     

Borah thanks his father Deepak Borah, founder director, Qube Events and Syed Zabiulla, coach at Bishop Cotton. “I speak to Syed sir every day. He has instilled great confidence in me and has played a big role in my journey,” says Borah.  

“He is a textbook cricketer and there were no doubts over his commitment level. He just had to believe in himself and I worked on it,” says Syed.

Riding high on his recent successes, Borah now aims to make a mark in U-19 cricket.