New Delhi: He has scored three centuries in Ranji Trophy this season and young Jammu & Kashmir lad Ian Dev Singh is indebted to former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi`s valuable tips that has motivated him to do well.
The 22-year-old who has scored 406 runs this season at an average of 67 plus feels that Bedi`s emergence in the J&K`s scheme of things has brought about a radical change in the mindset of players in the state, who want to take up the game professionally.
"Earlier, we used to be little skeptical about the coaches. How will they work on our technique? How long will they last? And lot of questions like that. But with Bedi sir around, we have a lot of faith that we can achieve greater things," Ian Dev, who has been rewarded with a place in the North Zone squad for Duleep Trophy, said.
Ask the youngster about what exactly did legendary spinner work on, he replied that it was more about the mental aspect.
"Last season, I went through the worst phase in my career. But Bedi sir`s has worked on the mental aspect. He has helped us to raise our levels.”
"May be we haven`t qualified for the knock-out phase but he has taught us not to be overawed by opposition. On a personal note, he told me not to be impetuous from the word go. He told me to be patient before going for shots. Bedi sir also said that one odd performance here and there is of no use and I need to be consistent in order to show my real character," he added.
It`s not easy to be a cricketer in Jammu & Kashmir, where a lot of work still needs to be done as far as upgradation of infrastructure is concerned.
But Ian Dev would tell you that if they can perform exceptionally, an IPL contract won`t be far away for J&K boys.
"I don`t see any reason why our players can`t play in the IPL (Indian Premier League), the only thing is that you need to be exceptional," the talented right-hander who plays club-cricket in Mumbai stated.
"I did my B.Tech from D Y Patil, the sole focus behind the move was to play cricket. I have represented D Y Patil in the Times Shield. Currently I am playing for Parsee Gymkhana," he revealed.
Ian Dev`s life in Mumbai is a bit different from other cricketers who are plying their trade in Mumbai maidans.
He aspires to be a cricketer but unlike others he also has an academic bent of mind as he is a sofware professional in a noted MNC. When he is not tonking the bowlers, he is busy breaking codes.
Playing club cricket in Mumbai has definitely toughened him.
"The competition even at the club level here is very tough whereas back in our state, we get limited opportunities. We rarely get solid preparation before the Ranji season commences," he said.
The lack of opportunities saw someone like Mithun Manhas relocate to Delhi for better avenues but Ian Dev is hopeful that the conditions will turn better.
Inclement weather has been a hurdle for the cricketers here with valley being shunt off the rest of the country following a heavy snowfall and Jammu region too reeling under the severe cold wave.
"This year we were lucky to have a three-month camp ahead of the Ranji Trophy. Generally we don`t get that much time together. It definitely helps the team," he signed off.