How Mumbai debutant Suved Parkar overcame recent bad run to smash 252 in Ranji quarters

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Mumbai coach Dinesh Lad recalls a little boy Suved Parkar came into the net at his school in Borivali with his parents asking him to enroll their son in the Swami International High School team Vivekanand. A short pass at bat against a tennis ball convinced the coach to do the needful. “His bat was coming well behind the ball and his eyes stayed on the ball. I felt we could work on this boy,” recalls Lad, who notably coached Rohit Sharma and Shardul Thakur. The hand-eye coordination that caught the coach was on display over the past two days when 21-year-old Parkar slammed 252 on his debut against Uttarakhand in Ranji’s quarter-final before being exhausted.

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“I didn’t feel so high until I got back to my room. I saw the highlights again and then I felt that I had done something great. There are still a lot of unread messages and missed calls that I haven’t canceled. I still have a long way to go and there is a mountain to climb. It’s just the beginning and I just want to keep it going,” Parkar said at the end of the day.

A few years after arriving, Lad called Parkar’s parents with a request. “I told them never to try to stop the child from playing cricket. Academics can fade away for a while as I feel he has something in him to become a good cricketer. Their parents were okay with it and the best part of his family was that their parents never interfered in his cricket,” Lad recalled. The son of a banker and a mother, who had represented Maharashtra in the kho-kho championship, Parkar was waiting for his chance on the big stage.

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On Monday and Tuesday, Parkar showed his ability to stay in the crease for a long time, ticking all the boxes in his first big encounter. Over 450 balls, 25 fours and 3 sixes have already flown from his bat.

Suved Parkar with Mumbai coach Amol Muzumdar.

Parker went under the selection radar after hammering three hundred in four games in a local Division A tournament. He was picked for Mumbai Under 25 after an unbeaten hundred which helped Mumbai win the CK trophy Nayudu under 25. That shot had come in a slump after Mumbai limped to 50 for 6 and he added 194 runs with Shams Mulani in a thrilling chase. In white-ball cricket in the past, he has shown a preference for the cut, the upper cut and playing the lofted player from mid-off against the seams. He also likes to work his wrists to hit the ball behind the square leg.

He was much more patient and conservative with his shot selections, initially, in Ranji’s current match. He had received the cap from former Indian opener WV Raman.

Just a few months ago, however, things were a little dire. Lad remembers this phase when Parkar lacked confidence.

“He was going through a period where nothing was happening for him. So we decided to go back to basics. For two hours, every day, we did the ‘cone practice’. It is a drill where a batsman keeps the ball on a cone and must hit it straight. He has to do all of this on his own. It improves concentration. He did it quietly and the best part is that he is ready to work hard. Always willing to go the extra mile to do better. He has never complained about anything so far and these races are a result of his sincerity,” adds Lad.

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