ANI Photo | “Camp will start from March 10, looking to carry forward my finisher role”: RCB wicketkeeper Anuj Rawat

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) wicketkeeper-batter Anuj Rawat said on Thursday that the franchise will be starting its preparations for the Indian Premier League (IPL) from March 10 onwards and he will be looking to carry on his role as a finisher last season.
RCB finished sixth in the last season, winning seven and losing seven matches. 14 points were not enough to secure them a position in the playoffs. The highly popular franchise, boasting popular superstars like Virat Kohli, Faf Du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell etc will be looking to end their trophy drought this year.
“Dates have not come yet for the IPL. Ranji has just finished. There are some local T20 tournaments after this. From 10 March onwards, our camps for IPL will start,” said Anuj in his exclusive interview with ANI.
“During the last year, I played the finisher role, I would like to carry forward that. I played well. I would practice accordingly in the camp,” he added.
In seven innings last year, this young RCB batter scored 91 runs in seven innings at an average of 30.33 and a strike rate of 30.33, with the best score of 29*. His strike rate was 128.16.
On the team ending their trophy drought this time, Anuj said that often team combinations and luck prevent them from winning, but the team is really strong and they would like to win the title this time.
“No doubt we have a massive fanbase. When it comes to winning, there are a lot of factors sometimes that prevent us from winning, like combinations or luck. But from what I have seen within these two years, our team is very strong and hope we will do something special this year,” he said.
Rawat said that BCCI making domestic red-ball cricket compulsory for centrally-contracted players is the right move and players who perform well there do get rewarded.
“When you do well in IPL, it increases your chances of coming to the national side. But there is also Sarfaraz Khan who recently got a chance to play for India after years of doing well in domestic cricket. So you have to balance both. But IPL is a bigger factor,” he said.
“It is a great decision (to make domestic cricket compulsory) because in a lot of states, players miss domestic cricket and prioritise IPL. It is important that domestic cricket is played and I am glad it is made compulsory. When you do well consistently, you will get a national call-up,” he added.
Rawat said that players get to learn a lot from star India batter Virat Kohli while spending two months with him during the IPL with the team.
“When you spend time around him (Virat), you get to learn a lot from him, like his work ethic. Even when you do not ask him about something and just observe him, you get to learn from him a lot. When we spend those two months with him, we get to learn a lot,” said Rawat.
The young wicketkeeper-batter said that the biggest match for RCB in IPL is against five-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He also praised the legendary wicketkeeper-batter MS Dhoni.
“What Dhoni can do behind the stumps, no one else can. I have interacted with him a lot in the IPL. I ask him for tips sometimes. But merely just observing him helps you learn a lot,” he said.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) IPL 2024 squad: Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, Virat Kohli
Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Suyash Prabhudessai, Will Jacks, Mahipal Lomror, Karn Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Vyshak Vijaykumar, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Rajan Kumar, Mayank Dagar (traded from SRH), Cameron Green (traded from MI), Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Tom Curran, Lockie Ferguson, Swapnil Singh, Saurav Chuahan. (ANI)

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