There were some exciting scenes in the recent Elite Group B fixture of the Ranji Trophy at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. On one side of the ring, it was Mumbai – 41-time champions, some of the best young talent and a single win away from the quarter-finals. And on the other hand, a restive Delhi stand, even finding it difficult to get their captain into action. The team was already struggling to field a good bowler and Yash Dhul falling ill added to their worries.
In such an unpredictable situation, the management showed faith in a youngster and Delhi, who have mostly looked confused this season, were a completely different unit. A young Himmat Singh was given the responsibility and under his leadership Delhi stunned Mumbai with an eight-wicket win.
Himmat knew that he was going to have a heavyweight opposition in the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Sarfaraz Khan, Armaan Zafar and Ajinkya Rahane. But after leading Delhi in age group cricket, Himmat treated this match as another game. And perhaps, it was the leadership that got him the best out as he played a knock of 85 in the first innings.
“A certain level of comfort ata hai. Apne jaye kaha, mane bakhapan se delhi ko lead kya hai. Do not give major pressure. I take it as a normal game because I have done it before,” Himmat told the media after Delhi’s win.
Delhi would have enjoyed a spot in the top half of the points table if it had been this result a couple of weeks ago. But it is also a fact that the team has gone through the toughest phases where most of the players have been sidelined due to injuries. But with each game the players tried to defy the odds to the best of their ability.
“Change has happened. But the role of the bowlers is clear. Everyone knows what is expected of them; Line, length etc results came late. “We executed what we talked about in this game. So we never went away in this match. He was an inexperienced player. It took them 2-3 matches to realize what they can do better,” he added.
Himmat never felt any pressure while stepping into the captain’s shoes. All in all, Delhi’s first win this season came under his leadership. But at the same time, he also firmly believes that boys should not get carried away with winning.
“I think the same. We have set a standard now. We have to maintain it. We cannot relax that we have won a match,” he concluded.