Making his statement through runs and more runs

Making his statement through runs and more runs

PROMISING: Dhruv Prabhakar has been scoring a lot of runs in age group cricket, showing the natural talent that he has. DH PHOTO/ SRIKANTA SHARMA R

It was his seventh birthday and Dhruv Prabhakar received a special gift on the day, six years ago. An evenly contested India-Pakistan contest was in progress at the time and Dhruv's parents decided to give him a cricket kit. There began Dhruv's love for the game.

"We just hoped he would love the gift. But he developed a great interest in cricket and that's when we sent him to a coaching academy at the age of seven," recollects C Prabhakar, an architect and Dhruv's father.

Looking back, it certainly wasn't a bad move by Dhruv's parents. For, the 13-year-old, from St Joseph's Boys High School, recently scripted a record-breaking show in the KSCA inter-zonal under-14 tournament. Playing for Bangalore Zone, Dhruv slammed a double century, two centuries and two fifties. His stellar performance saw him amass 804 runs in seven innings from five games, a KSCA record in the inter-zonal tournament.

For a Grade 8 student, Dhruv's thoughts are a tad too serious. When he talks about his batting, the clarity is beyond his age and that explains his success. "It's all about how calm you are when you are batting. In the two-day format, I focus on adapting to the situations. I aim to remain not out," the opening batsman explains.

It helps that Dhruv hails from a family that is very supportive. "To be honest my wife and I don't know much about sports. In fact, my second son Akshath (11 years) and daughter Isha have also started playing cricket. But at home, we don't talk much about sports. We aren't critical of their failures. We just leave it to their coaches to take care," Prabhakar says.

He exudes great confidence today but Dhruv's early days in cricket weren't devoid of problems. "Developing strength was the biggest challenge. Also, it took time to learn the demands of different formats," he points out.

Arjun Dev, Dhruv's current coach at the Six Cricket Academy, talks about his struggles. "He lacked strength initially and that's normal in children. Due to this, he played most of his shots behind the wicket. It's remarkable that he has worked hard to produce an array of shots over the years," he says.

An avid reader, Dhruv is a huge fan of Rahul Dravid. "I have read many books on him. I loved the way he made life difficult for the bowlers. Looking ahead, I want to represent Karnataka soon," says Dhruv, who also thanks mother Sunitha for all her support.