I am only focussed on winning matches for Punjab says Mandeep Singh: Having scored 469 runs from 8 matches (13 innings) at an average of 39.08, 2 centuries and 2 half-centuries in Ranji Trophy 2015-16, 394 runs from 7 games (7 innings) at an average of 65.66, 2 centuries and 1 half-century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015, Mandeep has carried his excellent form into the Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2016 also.
Following his 52-ball unbeaten 76* runs with 7 fours and 3 sixes in the first encounter against Rajasthan, which came in a losing cause, Mandeep went on to score, ‘back-to-back’ second half-century (58*) in Punjab’s second match against Jammu & Kashmir in the match played at Nehru Stadium, Kochi.
He has a tally of 134 runs from two outings.
With 528 runs in the limited overs format, Mandeep is ahead of the pack in the domestic circuit and has been the ‘talk of the town’.
Being in the company of stalwarts like AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh etc in the RCB dugout during the IPL 2015, has given a lot of confidence to this Punjab youngster and the same was clearly visible during his outings in Ranji Trophy 2015-16, Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015 and the ongoing Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2016.
Mandeep has been the mainstay of Punjab batting line-up and has played quite a few stellar innings.
The 24-year old was part of the Indian probables for the previous edition of T20I World Cup. However, he is confident of making it to the Indian dressing room, this time around.
BCCI’s selectors’ are keenly following the Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2016 that is currently underway and Mandeep’s performance would definitely be making him a serious contender.
“Every player wants to play for India, that’s the ultimate dream, but honestly, I am just focussing on winning matches for Punjab”, Mandeep told cricbuzz.com, in an interaction.
“I think we are a very good bunch but we haven’t won even a single trophy in four-five years. I think we were the favourites, you can say, in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but again we lost in the quarters”, he added.
Mandeep now has 3,970 runs in First Class at an average of 44.21 and 235 as his individual best. In the limited over format (50 overs) he has an accumulation of 2,176 runs at an average of 39.56 with 119 as his personal high and in the T20 format he has a tally of 1,837 runs at an average of 25.16 with 77* as his individual best.
The above numbers are quite decent enough for this youngster to be considered for national duty. The first step could be his inclusion in the Indian squad for the T20I World Cup 2016.
Mandeep signed off saying, “As of now I’m looking to win matches for Punjab, but definitely on the back of the mind, there is the (thought) that I should get a chance sooner rather than later. That’s more with the performance, and if I keep on performing like this then definitely (a call up in on the cards) why not?”
Hopefully the ‘wise men’ in BCCI are listening and watching.