The IPL has a habit of churning out obscure names for the world to take notice. The likes of Swapnil Asnodkar, Paul Valthaty, Kamran Khan became overnight sensations with their performances in the glittering T20 league, but this year’s biggest find, Rahul Tripathi, will hope he doesn’t fade away like the rest of the lot.
Tripathi has been hogging the limelight this season, playing spellbinding knocks at the top of the order for the Rising Pune Supergiant this season. He motored his side to their sixth win in seven matches, blasting a 52-ball 93 that contained as many as 78 runs in boundaries.
Who exactly is Rahul Tripathi? Here are 10 things to know about IPL’s newest star:
#1 He is the first Pune cricketer to play for a Pune franchise. Between the Rising Pune Supergiant and Pune Warriors India, there hadn’t been a single local player.
#2 Primarily a middle-order batsman, Tripathi wasn’t picked for the interstate and inter-zonal T20 competitions. He also did not find a place in the first four games for Maharashtra in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
#3 His father, Colonel Ajay Tripathi, has been part of the Indian Army. Rahul took up cricket seriously when is father got posted from Srinagar to Pune after Operation Parakram.
#4 If you think the only mathematics that cricketers encounter is their own personal statistics, think again. Tripathi has a B.Sc degree in Mathematics. His father once quipped in an interview that Rahul’s lowest score ever in the subject is 98!
#5 Six sixes in as many balls maybe something you associate with Yuvraj Singh, but Rahul Tripathi has done it twice (albeit in a local tournament in Pune). Last year, he achieved the feat on two occasions.
#6 When Tripathi started off, he wasn’t an aggressive batsman, but one who could stay in the crease for long periods. How things have changed now: he smote seven sixes against a strong KKR bowling attack in RPS’s last game.
#7 His father himself has had cricket training, and represented the Uttar Pradesh side at junior levels, and has played cricket for his University.
#8 Tripathi made his first-class debut against Baroda in 2012, but managed to get just one more game before being dropped. He scored more than 500 runs for Maharashtra in the 2014-15 season, taking them to the semifinals.
#9 He was the highest run-getter in the 2009-10 Cooch Behar Trophy, and has scored well for Maharashtra at all-age group levels. He was named in the Maharashtra Cricket Association XI, and has played against the likes of Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Scott Styris.
#10 Tripathi was picked in the last round of the IPL 2017 auctions, and went for the minimum price of Rs. 10 Lakh. He made his debut in the middle order this season, but was promoted up the order when Mayank Agrawal failed with the bat. One man’s loss became another’s gain.