Anirudha Srikkanth is among the more talented young cricketers in the country and like them, is waiting in the wings for the final push to the top.
Chennai: Anirudha Srikkanth is among the more talented young cricketers in the country and like them, is waiting in the wings for the final push to the top. Having made his first-class debut at the tender age of 16, the hard-hitting opening batsman took a while to cement his position in the Tamil Nadu team.
Off the pitch, Anirudha has learnt to deal and live with constant comparisons, however unfair they may be, with his star father, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, though he much prefers to be his own man and let his batting do all the talking.
To an extent, Anirudha has succeeded in emerging from the long shadow of his famous father with a string of consistent performances, especially in the recent past. Now with the Chennai Super Kings, Anirudha, who will turn 23 on April 14, is hoping for another big break to underline his undoubted talent.
Your experiences of being part of the Chennai Super Kings team during the last two years?
It is obviously a different feeling. I try to learn as much as possible from that. I was not there in the team last year. It is a learning curve for me by interacting with the top notch players from different continents. By their revealing answers, I am able to assess myself and as to how one need to handle pressures of playing at that level. Such information definitely helped me to adjust myself to the situations while playing in league or for State or domestic matches. For youngsters like me, it is all about getting to know much more about international cricket.
You would have seen your father, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, play in Tests and ODI matches for India in your younger days. Your father must have given you tips. So do you feel you had some advantage as compared to other youngsters in the Super Kings team?
It is only the individual effort that is taken into account. At the end of the day, your own performance counts. Only when you perform can you progress to the next level. That is about it. Being Srikkanth's son is nice and you can call either way. You need to be careful because there are advantages and disadvantages too. People look up to you and compare me to Srikkanth. Therefore, according to me only my performance matters at the end of the day.
You have been performing well in the last couple of seasons. What is your goal now?
I am enjoying my cricket right now. I do not have so many high goals, but I enjoy playing at whatever the levels that I get to play. In cricket at times you continue to face bad patches, but I always try to find ways to get out of such occasions and then start performing to my potential. The ideal thing is to remain consistent in Ranji Trophy and the domestic tournaments and obviously, your performance will take care of the rest.
You have played in various formats of the game. Do the cricketers put any extra effort physically or mentally in 20-20 cricket?
Every format is a different ball game, but you just have to put in your best effort as far as possible. I feel Test cricket is the most important form of the game. T-20 and one-dayers are equally important, but I feel that if you can be a good Test player, you can surely perform well in other formats. We do have extra work done because T20 match situations are different. It requires much more anticipation and your fitness levels are tested.
How well have you prepared for the coming IPL?
I do not have much time to prepare for the IPL since I have been playing State cricket for Tamil Nadu and now in Deodhar Trophy. We have had best of domestic schedule and all of us have been busy with that and I can handle the situations in 20-20 IPL since I have been constantly and consistently busy playing domestic cricket. Of course, there will be couple of days of preparation before we play on March 14 against Deccan Chargers. Mentally also there is not much to address since I will be grabbing the chances that come my way and try and do my best.
State-level players in the Super Kings team are a talented bunch. So, how do you rate your chances of getting into the playing eleven?
Right now, I am not in the 23. First thing is that competition is going to be there at every level. Competition amongst players in Tamil Nadu itself is rather high, but the important thing is that you do not think about such competitions but concentrate on what you are doing and how much you can contribute to the team. If we do that, eventually you will be moving in the right direction. I am proud to be a member of the Chennai Super Kings squad whether I get a chance to bat or not.
At the end of the day, it is a matter of pride that you shared the dressing room with players like Dhoni, Hayden and all others and learning from them. My only wish is that the Super Kings should win the tournament since it is the best amongst the franchises and most deserving having missed the title in the first year and then failing to make the final in South Africa.