back icon


‘Score big runs, trust the timing’: Baba Indrajith’s mantra to earn Test cap

Last updated on 13 Feb 2024 | 02:40 PM
Google News IconFollow Us
‘Score big runs, trust the timing’: Baba Indrajith’s mantra to earn Test cap

In a exclusive, Baba Indrajith spoke about Tamil Nadu’s clash against Karnataka, his form, and that eventual dream of playing for India

Yet another day, yet another Baba Indrajith special. 

For the ones who have followed the Indian domestic red-ball season year after year, you would know how much the 29-year-old Indrajith has toiled for Tamil Nadu. Since his debut, Indrajith has amassed 3858 runs, including accumulating over 350 runs every season (min 5 games). 

On Monday (February 12), Tamil Nadu were left with the tall task of chasing 355 in the second innings against rivals Karnataka on a Chennai surface that had degraded significantly. But adversities are what makes Indrajith’s laurels more special. 

At 14/1, Tamil Nadu were in a spot of bother, but over the next few hours, Indrajith built up good partnerships with Pradosh Ranjan Paul and then Vijay Shankar to nearly take them home in a humdinger before cruelly getting run-out at the non-striker’s end for 98. 

While it was heartbreaking for Indrajith, it wasn’t for Tamil Nadu, who managed to save the game from a position of despair, finishing just 17 runs shy of the mammoth target. 

“I think it was a very thrilling game. It was a high-octane thriller. We didn’t expect it to go this way after the first two days,” Indrajith told in a candid conversation. 

“We never thought we could chase a big score in the fourth innings. It is always an eye-catching game; something always happens in these games. Cricket was the real winner,” he added. 

While the phrase ‘Cricket was the real winner’ is loosely thrown, on this occasion, it was a fitting description of the encounter, with hundreds of people crowding around the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on a Monday afternoon (February 12). 

“When I made my debut in 2013, there used to be crowds like these, but I couldn’t see such a crowd at Chepauk for a Ranji game. It is a special feeling to play in front of a crowd, even on a Monday. They weren’t just supporting Tamil Nadu; you know, Chennai fans love cricket,” he added. 

At 177/4, the sane decision for Tamil Nadu would have been to play for a draw with 38 overs remaining in the day, but that’s when the management decided to think outside the box, promoting Mohammed Mohammed. It was a ploy not just to throw Karnataka bowlers’ plans but also to bring a third result into the equation: a Tamil Nadu win. 

“We initially wanted to take the game deep, but I was surprised to see Mohammed come out to bat, that’s when I asked the 12th man what the plan was. That’s when we started getting messages; the momentum shifted when Mohammed hit a couple of boundaries,” Indrajith looked back at the events that nearly sparked an incredible win. 

“When Vijay (Shankar) and I were batting, we just wanted to take the game deep and not push too much because we still had a point to play for. We were aiming to take it deep, and once it went to the wire, the pressure was also on Karnataka when they pushed the fielders deep,” he added. 

Earlier, the scintillating show from the 27-year-old Vyshak Vijaykumar turned things around sharply for Karnataka. On a wicket that traditionally assists the tweakers, the pacer had match figures of 7/97, including removing a well-set Indrajith (48) in the first innings.

“Vyshak (Vijaykumar) has a very good attitude. Even if you see the last few overs, he was very tired, but still, he ran and bowled with a high intensity. Right from the first innings, he bowled his heart out, right from reverse swing to bowl the defensive line in the chase,” Indrajith praised Vyshak’s efforts. 

Despite picking up just four wickets, Indrajith was also visibly impressed by the efforts of the 17-year-old Karnataka spinner Hardik Raj. Playing only his third First-Class game, the left-arm spinner was on point, troubling the Tamil Nadu batters with his nagging line and lengths. 

“It was really good, not just Vyshak, their entire team bowled. Hardik Raj has a bright future; he’s just 17 and not scared to bowl or bat. That’s very pleasing to see,” he added. 

The draw has now put Tamil Nadu in a position where their final clash against Punjab becomes a do-or-die, and Indrajith doesn’t want his team to depend on any other result but their own. 

“We don’t want to depend on other teams; we will play for an outright win. I don’t think we will be looking at other results, we have played a very good brand of cricket, with so many outright wins,” Indrajith was confident about their chances. 


“It is not easy to be always motivated. In India, there are many people, even if you don’t score for two games, you will feel like a failure because others are scoring.”

Indrajith didn’t mince a single word. It is what happens in a cricket-loving country like India; it is almost like you make a mistake and you go back to scratching the bottom of the barrel. That’s when the 29-year-old keeps things quite simple and ‘trusts the timing’. 

“The important thing is to focus on your games. I get dejected and upset and think I have to do more, but eventually, I just want to keep doing the right things and not worry about the selection. Trust the timing; you don’t know when things will happen, and they will change,” he added. 

Since 2020, Indrajith has scored 990 runs in just 13 Ranji Trophy clashes, averaging a staggering 61.88, only behind Sarfaraz Khan and Ankit Bawne, who average 123.3 and 63.79, respectively. Sarfaraz has already graduated closer to a Test appearance, leaving Indrajith now to fight for his long-time dream. 

“The hunger is always there; you always want to play at a higher level for India ‘A’ and India. That’s the ultimate goal, and in terms of consistency, when you have the hunger to perform well,” Indrajith spoke about Test ambitions. 

“There will be times when you don’t get those starts, whenever I’m batting well, I think about those days and compensate for that. It is a combination of a lot of things. I want to get that Test cap.”

So, knowing one thing and how to get that one thing are two different things. Indrajith knows he wants that Test cap, but how does he get there? In his admission, he would want to follow what Sarfaraz did, scoring big season after season while taking his team one step higher towards that coveted trophy that has evaded the state for the longest time. 

“Obviously, if I can get a big season (800-1000 runs), I will definitely take it; it will help my chances. But at the same time, consistency over the years will also get you there. You never know what is going to get you that break.

“But bigger scores, a bigger season, winning that Ranji Trophy, and scoring runs in crucial games against big sides will also help massively. I’m trying my best to score big.”

The 29-year-old has been on the fringes of Indian A selection for the longest time, and a monster season could just seal the deal this time around.

(All Images Courtesy: PTI)

Related Article