India U-19 captain Yash Dhull hits tons on Ranji Trophy debut

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After leading India to their fifth Under-19 World Cup earlier this month, Yash Dhull began his senior career with a century in each innings of his Ranji Trophy debut. The 19-year-old followed his 113 against Tamil Nadu with an unbeaten 113 on Sunday.

He is only the third Indian- after Nari Contractor for Gujarat in 1952/53 and Virag Awate for Maharashtra in 2012/13- to score a hundred in each innings on his Ranji Trophy debut.

Delhi were reeling at 7-2 on day one when Dhull, opening for the first time in his career, showed remarkable maturity to bail the team out of trouble and help them to 452. However, his thunder was stolen by Shahrukh Khan, who got Tamil Nadu the first innings lead with a sensational 194 off 148 balls.

Dhull on the final day with Dhruv Shorey (107* off 165) batted for 60.5 overs to take Delhi to 228 for no loss in the second innings. Dhull completed his century with a classical cover drive off Shahrukh Khan and followed it with a four and six before the players shook hands for a draw.

Delhi coach Raj Kumar Sharma feels that the youngster should be fast-tracked into the Indian team. “He is ready to take the next step. He has got the temperament to excel at the senior level,” he said.

Assistant coach Gursharan Singh, a former India batter, said: “Both the innings were top notch. On the first day, he showed exceptional maturity and batted according to the team’s requirements, but today he displayed the other side of his game. It was a flawless inning.”

Unfazed by the adulation, Dhull is already focusing on the next match against Jharkhand, starting February 24.

“India khelna hai magar filhaal baaki ke dono matches pe focus hai (I want to play for India, but right now, the focus is on the remaining matches),” Dhull told this paper.

“I have set myself a goal that I will play senior India in the next 18 to 24 months. Till now, it has been a dream ride, but hard work will begin now. I will have to score bucketloads of runs to get there. From tomorrow, I will start training for the match against Jharkhand. The thumb rule of cricket is to take one game at a time,” added Dhull, who had scored 229 runs in four innings at an average of 76.33 and strike rate of 85.44 in the U-19 World Cup. (Indian Express)

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