Manan Vohra was undergoing a tough phase in his cricketing career. He was dropped from the Punjab side for the Ranji Trophy games. His performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, in which his highest score was 27, left him in a precarious position. Royal Challengers Bangalore, who had picked him in the 2018 Indian Premier League, had released him and there was a possibility that the 25-year-old from Chandigarh would not be part of the IPL in 2019. In the recent auction, Vohra was not attracting any bidders until Rajasthan Royals snatched him at his base price of Rs 20 lakhs.
After he was picked by the Royals, Vohra emotionally thanked and expressed his gratitude to the Rajasthan Royals. Speaking exclusively to News Nation, Vohra opened up on the emotional rollercoaster that he was undergoing at that time. “Personally, when you want things to happen, they do not happen. When I felt my time was right, things were not going well. Being dropped from the Ranji Trophy and an inconsistent run in the one-dayers had made me nervous. It is like that phase of life where I had to fight hard to get certain things done. When I was picked, I was really happy and grateful to the Rajasthan Royals,” Vohra said.
Rajasthan Royals will be the third franchise for Vohra, having played before for Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore. It was in Kings XI Punjab where Vohra had made a mark, playing 49 games for the franchise and scoring over 1000 runs at a strike rate of over 130. His 95 in the 2017 edition against a strong Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling had propelled him into the big stage. When asked whether he was sad he had to leave Kings XI Punjab, Vohra offered a practical answer.
“Punjab is my home state. I was born here and playing here, I had developed a comfort zone. If you want to develop in your career, you must get out of the comfort zone,” Vohra said. In Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, the 25-year-old featured in just four games, with his highest being 45 against Kolkata Knight Riders. Vohra said the team composition in RCB did not give him many games. “The team already had so many good openers. There was no place for someone new,” Vohra said.
England opportunity beckons
Cheteshwar Pujara, who won the Man of the Series in the recently concluded Australia series where India achieved a historic series win, had credited the First Class structure and his England County stint for his improvement in his technique. Vohra aims to achieve the same growth in his career by playing for Lindfield CC. “This stint will begin after the IPL ends. The conditions in England are always a challenge and this will only help me in my growth as a cricketer,” Vohra remarked.
The Indian cricket team broke 71 years of pain when they won a series in Australia for the first time. Vohra said the pride that he felt could not be summed up. “It is a mighty proud feeling. It is immense. However, the pride that we feel right here is different to the feeling that the 15 guys in Australia are feeling. Their sense of pride will be in a totally different level,” Vohra added.
With the IPL being played before the World Cup which will be held in England in 2019, Vohra said this edition gives youngsters like him a chance to shine. “The World Cup is a priority for all the other senior members who will be headed to England. This gives an opportunity for us youngsters to come up and shine,” Vohra said.