Calmer Chaitanya making his talent count

Calmer Chaitanya making his talent count

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Top-order batsman Chaitanya Shankar has had a consistent season this year.

Chaitanya Shankar suffered from a common problem that attacking batsmen have. The top-order player squandered starts to endure a forgettable season last year in the Vijay Merchant Trophy.

Chaitanya had just one half-century for Karnataka to show for in the BCCI U-16 tournament. Poor conversion plagued him in many zonal tournaments in the past.

“It (problem) had got nothing to do with my technique. It was more to do with my mental approach,” Chaitanya tells DH.  

Low on confidence, Chaitanya recollects how his coaches Patrick Das (at BPCA) and Govind (at Jawahars Sports Club) helped him get back on track. “Patrick sir asked me to stick to my strengths. Both my coaches stressed on improving my fitness,” he says. 

Hitting the gym had a positive impact on Chaitanya. “As I got fitter and stronger, I realised I was able to concentrate well. My decision making and shot selection improved,” offers Chaitanya, a tenth standard student of Florence Public School (RT Nagar). 

As he batted with a better frame of mind, runs started flowing from the willow of the 16-year-old. This season, in the U-16 KSCA league, he slammed 490 runs from eight innings for Jawahar SC.

Leading President’s XI in the U-16 zonals, Chaitanya made 160 from three innings to get picked for the Vijay Merchant Trophy. Currently, he is the highest run-getter for Karnataka with 176 runs from two innings so far, including a century. 

“My unbeaten 129 against Hyderabad was special because it was my first century for Karnataka. Last season, I didn’t have big scores but my timely ton against Raichur Zone in the U-16 zonals helped me gain a place in the State squad for the Vijay Merchant Trophy. That knock is of one of my best,” he explains. 

Shankar thanks his father RS Shankar, a building contractor and mother S Vimala, a computer operator, for their constant support. “When I was out of form, my father, was quite naturally frustrated. But I thank him for standing by me. For me, getting into the Karnataka side was my ultimate goal. My father has changed that now. He has told me to focus on breaking into the India U-19 side and I am working hard towards it,” he says.