Rohit Kumar Paudel has not been up to his mark off late as the hype surrounded the youngster following his own and Nepal’s performance in 2018’s ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (Namibia) and ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers (Zimbabwe).
Rohit was also named the Emerging Cricketer of the Year from Cricket Player’s Association of Nepal and went on to become world’s youngest half century scorer in One Day Internationals which he did against the UAE in a bilateral series in January, 2019.
Following an extended lockdown across Nepal, Rohit recently came from his hometown in Butwal to join the training at the nets at the TU ground. Cricketingnepal caught up with Rohit and talked about his lockdown times and future plans. Excerpts:
How did you spend your time during lockdown?
Most of the times, I spent my time at home. I have set up nets at my home so I continued my practice there.
How difficult is it to pass time when there is no cricket?
Until the first month, it was pretty nice to be at home with family. I had not spent quality time with my family for a long time and a break seemed compulsory. But it started to get more difficult after a month. However, I kept spending time in the nets.
How has the lock down affected you, mentally and physically?
I don’t think it affected me physically as I was continuously carrying out my regular exercise. There is a ground near my home where I had been training myself. Mentally, it was a good break, at least for me. We have been busy for a long period and this lockdown gave what we were looking for.
There has been no cricket for the last four months. With everything getting back, what are you expecting in future?
We need to play as much matches as possible. Leaving aside the beginning of lockdown, every one of us are busy. We have been spending time on nets and undergoing individual physical training. Now we need to play more and more matches. Its important we play either multi-day cricket, Twenty20 or one-dayers. We need match exposure.
How difficult is it going to be to get back into rhythm after a long gap?
For the first half an hour or an hour, it was quite awkward to face a bowler in the nets. We would obviously need some time to get back to our touch. Once it starts to get habbit again, it won’t affect much. But the scenario for the matches is obviously going to be different, and yes, difficult too.
You all have been busy in cricket. What does it comes in mind when you are away from cricket?
When I returned back to Kathmandu from my home town, I have spent most of the times at the TU cricket ground. We have been regularly practicing in a group of three or four. But when I was at home, I used to spend time watching videos, movies or Netflix. We also used to be in touch with coaches through video conference.
How did you review your own past performance during this break ?
I think that is where I utilized the lockdown period most. I used to look at scorecard of the matches that I had played and analysed by stats. I used to think of the mistakes that I made during the matches. I was discussing with my coaches.
How does it feel to be back in the training?
I was happy. I got to meet my teammates after a long period. I used to think how would I play when a bowler bowls.
Do you have any personal planning for Cricket World Cup League 2?
We have so far played four matches and there are 32 more matches to go in this structure. Our team’s main aim and plan is to finish inside the top two. For that, my plan is to contribute to the team as much I can.
For the past few tournaments you have not been up to your own mark. Where exactly is going wrong?
I have not been able to perform for past five or six months. I have not been able to score runs. I am not putting myself under any pressure but want to do much better in the upcoming tournaments. I want to train better and analyse my past mistakes to make amends. I regularly take suggestions from coaches in this regard.
Have you been in touch with your Under-19 team during this lock down?
Yes. I have been in touch with all our team members. Our coach, Binod dai (Binod Das) has made a chat group and he regularly arranges video conference for us.