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With a FC century conversion rate of 43.9 pc, Abhimanyu Easwaran stakes fair claim to Test spot

India tour of Bangladesh: Abhimanyu Easwaran is likely to be called-up as the cover-up for Rohit Sharma in Tests. Easwaran has scored 5419 from 77 first-class games at an average of 44.41.

India A tour of Bangladesh: Abhimanyu Easwaran scored 157 in first innings of 2nd Unofficial Test | Walking Wicket (Source_  ©BCB)
Abhimanyu scored 157 in first innings of 2nd Unofficial Test against Bangladesh (Source: ©BCB)

The Indian Cricket Team – It is a tough journey to climb the ladders and eventually get that India jersey. There are several candidates vying for all positions in the team and among many such players, one is the India A and Bengal skipper, Abhimanyu Ranganathan Parmashwaran Easwaran. The 27-year-old right-hand batter from Bengal has been nothing short of inhuman, to say the least. Whether with the Bengal team or the India A team, Easwaran has just been doing what he is supposed to do: scoring tonnes of runs. Like, literally, TONs!

There is a possibility that India skipper Rohit Sharma, who injured his thumb in the 2nd ODI against Bangladesh in Mirpur, might not take part in the Test series that starts on December 14 in Chattogram. The news agency PTI has said that Abhimanyu Easwaran is likely to replace Rohit in the national squad if the regular skipper indeed doesn't feature in the Tests.

"Abhimanyu Easwaran has scored back to back hundreds in ongoing A Test series and is an opener. In all likelihood, he will join the squad in Chattogram after finishing his second A Test in Sylhet," PTI quoted a BCCI source as saying.

The Pillar of India-A, aka Abhimanyu Eswaran

Abhimanyu, who is also the skipper of India-A, has been brilliant in the longest format of the game, scoring truckloads of runs. Easwaran started the first unofficial Test in Cox’s Bazar against Bangladesh-A with a scintillating 141, which helped India post a mammoth 465 on the board. The way Easwaran spent time on the wicket is like seeing poetry in motion. No hush hush, no fuss fuss, only sheer concentration. which is what Test/First-Class cricket stands for. Easwaran spent more than 7 hours on the pitch and faced 255 deliveries in the first unofficial Test.

The Bengal opener then backed up the ‘daddy hundred’ with yet another hundred in the second unofficial Test. A marathon innings of 157 runs off 248 deliveries followed in the ongoing second unofficial Test in Sylhet, which helped India gain a substantial lead over the home side who amassed of 252. Easwaran first put on a crucial 119-run stand with India veteran Cheteshwar Pujara, which was a classic Test match partnership with both batters looking to spend as much time as possible on the crease. This approach frustrated the Bangladesh bowlers, which helped India and both batters get control over the proceedings.

Classic Test match strategy, isn’t it? Easwaran shifted gears in the 151-run fifth-wicket stand with Andhra Pradesh wicketkeeper batter KS Bharath as soon as Pujara left. Both the young players played with freedom and authority, striking out at over 4 runs per over. Wickets kept on falling on the other end, but Easwaran stood tall, handsome and ended on 157.

Abhimanyu Easwaran is likely to replace Rohit Sharma for opening slot in First Test against Bangladesh _ Walking Wicket (Source_  ©Getty Images)
Easwaran has 5419 runs from 77 games in First-class cricket (Source: ©Getty Images)

Another unlucky talented batter from India’s batting manufacturing plant?

In India, where there is a problem of plenty as far as cricketing resources go, it is clear that it is not just a single player but dozens of talented men warming the bench or failing to make it to India's national squad at times, let alone the playing eleven.

Easwaran, who has been a stalwart for Bengal cricket, has scored 5419 runs at a staggering average of 44.41, prior to the second unofficial Test against Bangladesh-A. What has been pleasing to see in the right-hander’s game is the conversion rate going from 50 to 100. Easwaran has converted 18 out of his 41 fifty-plus scores into hundreds in first-class cricket.

And he doesn’t just stop there. In List A cricket, the India-A skipper averages 46.24 in 76 innings, scoring 3376 runs with seven centuries against his name. Even in the match leading up to the Bangladesh tour, Easwaran was coming off a 298-run opening stand with fellow Bengal opener Sudip Gharami. Though Sudip outbatted Easwaran for a mammoth 162 in that game, the skipper scored a quickfire 122 off 123 deliveries, which was the catalyst in Bengal's 426-run victory over the Services in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022-23.

While India’s Test setup looks quite settled with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma at the top, Easwaran could be a good backup to Rohit Sharma considering his age and fitness. A solid and classical Test player who knows the importance of spending time on the wicket is surely a treat for genuine cricket fanatics. The sheer perseverance and command over one’s defence is what makes a great player in Tests, and Easwaran, with his consistent performances, surely looks all set to don greatness with elan.

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