Fitter Choudhary in sparkling form

Aniket Choudhary

Aniket Choudhary spent a whole season of last IPL on the sidelines without getting a match. The paceman went almost unnoticed despite his burly figure. Less than a year later, Choudhary has returned to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium -- meaner and fitter -- not the red and black hues of RCB but in the sparkling whites of Rajasthan.

His performance with the ball for Rajasthan this Ranji Trophy season has been equally candescent. The left-arm seamer’s numbers are staggering with six five-wicket hauls in seven innings. The 28-year-old, who has so far picked up 47 wickets from nine games, credits his success to his meticulous preparation.  

“I worked on my skills. I am using the cutters a lot whenever I felt the conditions haven’t been favourable for swing. I have developed a good in-swing. I am able to in-swing the ball at my will now but I can move it either way and that feels great. Of course, the pitches have been helpful too,” he said here on the eve of the quarterfinal game against Karnataka. 

Half-way through the season Aniket was dejected when he went unsold in last month’s IPL auction. 

With five wickets from as many games, it was an ordinary debut season for him two seasons ago with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Having failed to get a single game last season, Aniket was eager to make a mark in the league this time around. 

“It was disheartening not to get picked. I have been around for a while now and when I played in IPL, I did bowl well. Like bowling a couple of maiden overs or a maiden over in the 19th over. I was confident that this time if I do well in Ranji I will be in demand,” he said. 

But Aniket channelled his frustration into performance. He worked harder and there was a conscious effort to get fitter.

“In Rajasthan, I didn’t have enough exposure. But in IPL, being with stars like Virat Kohli, I realised a lot about fitness and diet. Diet is a very big thing.

“I tried to consume the right amount of carbohydrates and proteins. My body got into a better shape quickly. I told myself that there is no point in cribbing about not getting my chances. Even if there was some amount of frustration, I vented out by training harder. It’s a better approach than just thinking about something that’s not in your control,” Aniket offered. 

Aniket called the game against Karnataka his biggest test of the year.

“They have won a couple of championships in the recent years. So if I do well against such a big team it’s good for me.

“It’s a televised match, so many will be watching me perform and I can’t wait to do well,” he hoped. 

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