Exclusive Interview with Gitansh Khera: “I would love to be a Test Cricketer”: The most fantastic and magical things do happen to those who have the courage to dream big and further put their whole heart and soul….in ensuring that their dreams see light. Punjab’s Gitansh Khera is a cricketer who believes in himself, backs his strength on the field and looks to contribute and further help his team cross the line each time he walks out in those whites. Cricket being his first love… he considers the team his family, the bat and ball his best friends, the field has become his home and the game of cricket his life. Gitansh made his Ranji Trophy debut for Punjab, playing against Himachal Pradesh in 2010 and from there onwards it was no looking back. He is best remembered for sharing an unbeaten 306 runs stand, with fellow team mate Gurkeerat Singh Mann in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy season. It is here that he scored a brilliant knock of 102 runs. CricFit.com author Binaisha M. Surti met this humble, down to earth yet talented cricketer and he spoke to her about how his dreams of becoming a cricketer took flight to what it means to have Yuvraj and Harbhajan in the Punjab team and lots more.
Gitansh loved playing tennis ball cricket in his formative years and at the tender age of 8 his father decided that it was time for his son to be enrolled into a cricket academy. Since his father too played the game he was a big influence in Khera’s life, when it came to him choosing the sport. Today he is fully focussed on the game as cricket is his top priority. We further discussed a little more about his younger days in cricket and asked him as to how he became a wicketkeeper batsman. He studied in one of the best schools in Ludhiana, where cricket was given a lot of importance and thus he was given the opportunity to flourish in the game. At that time, the school did not have a wicketkeeper so his coach asked him to put on the gloves and stand behind the stumps. When it comes to keeping wickets, he has always admired Adam Gilchrist right from the beginning and finally when he met his idol he termed it as a dream come true as Gilchrist did share a few handy tips with him. On the other hand when it comes to batting he considers Rahul Dravid as his idol.
Gitansh, then spoke to us about his journey in the cricketing arena…He said that he had played all levels of cricket for Punjab from under 15, 17, 19, 22 and further captained the under 25 Punjab team. He added that he made his debut in the Punjab Ranji team at the age of 18 playing against Himachal Pradesh and from back then he was in awe of the swashbuckling batsman Yuvraj Singh. He termed his journey as a good one and added that he looks to work even harder. He did have ups and downs in the middle but has taken it in his stride and moved ahead.
Next we spoke about the importance of having veteran players like Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh in team Punjab as they always help youngsters grow. With a big smile Gitansh quickly added that it is wonderful to have stalwarts like them in the team as they treat everyone as equals. They consider their team mates as brothers. They always give the juniors confidence, motivate them and guide them at every step. It is great to play alongside them as they never make the others feel that they are big names in the cricketing world. It is a true blessing to have them. It is wonderful to have Harbhajan Singh in the dressing room as he is the life of the team and it adds on to the dressing room atmosphere, making it lively and happy.
His parents have been his biggest inspiration and support system over the years when it came to him taking up cricket on a professional level. Then we went onto speak about his fitness regime and diet plan as Punjabi’s are big food lovers. Gitansh said that when it comes to fitness he is very strict with himself…he eats everything but then works out as well to remain in shape.
This talented lad, then shared his thoughts on the 306 runs memorable partnership which he shared with Gurkeerat Singh Mann in the recently concluded Ranji Trophy season. Gurkeerat had just come in after the South Africa series and was high on confidence. Thus, this confidence was rubbed off on Gitansh too. He kept telling him to stick on as the wicket was great….and finally he got his 102 runs. So that particular partnership was indeed very special for both of them. He concluded by saying that he and Gurkeerat had good partnerships in the past as well so they had good understanding between themselves. He likes playing the four day format as well as ODIs and is quick to add on that he would love to be a Test cricketer.
On a lighter note we asked him to tell us who are his closest friends in the team. He responded with a big smile saying that he is good friends with Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra and Gurkeerat Singh Mann to name a few. Having team mates like them is always great.
He finally signed off with some words of advice “Work hard, believe in your self and leave everything else to God.”