Jonty Sidhu, Delhi’s find of the season


first_imgPlaced in the bottom three of their group, Delhi’s performance this season doesn’t exude much confidence but a closer look at the team shows the Ranji side has built a team of young Turks while key players were away representing national colours.Team’s pivot Rishabh Pant and Nitish Rana were away on national duties and Gautam Gambhir said goodbye to cricket midway through the season, the void left was filled by young but confident names in Anuj Rawat, Jonty Sidhu, Hiten Dalal, Shivank Vashisht among others.Left-arm spinner Sivank shined with a six-for on his debut while wicket-keeper Anuj scored a century against Madhya Pradesh, filling the big shoes of Pant. However, former Indian under-19 skipper Jonty was arguably the best among the lot as he showed consistency with his bat.The 21-year-old lanky left-hander, who prefers a high bat lift, very similar to that of his idol Yuvraj Singh, said he rues the fact that he made his debut in the match right after Delhi played Punjab.”I was delighted to make my debut against Andhra but it would have been great to make my debut a match earlier (against Punjab) as I would have got to play against my favourite player Yuvraj Singh. I have been his fan since I learnt to lift the bat,” Jonty told Mail Today.Jonty managed a decent 30 in his first innings against Andhra in early December last year which was also coincidentally the last game for Gambhir.His debut was followed by a fighting 41 against Kerala (highest by any Delhi batsman in the game) on a turning track when the side’s batting collapsed in both the innings and faced an embarrassing innings defeat in Trivandrum.advertisementThe southpaw kept getting better as he missed on a century with a gritty 85 at the Eden Gardens against Bengal (again team’s top-scorer in the match). Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as Delhi crashed to a defeat after Bengal chased down 323 on the final day.The former India under-19 skipper didn’t have to wait long for his maiden ton as he played an unbeaten 140 against Tamil Nadu to end the season on a high. The knock came at a time when Delhi were reeling at 49 for 4.”Scoring the century was such a relief. It gave me the sense of security as far as my spot in the playing XI is concerned. When I walked in to bat, I told myself that if I don’t score today then I don’t deserve to be in the team. Putting a prize on my wicket did the trick I guess,” said Jonty.His team will need the same mentality and consistency yet again as Delhi will be defending their title at the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy later this month.last_img read more