May 26, 2011
Kings XI Punjab's IPL-IV ended last week but for their find of the season — Paul Valthaty— the real journey is about to begin. Valthaty, rather unknown outside Mumbai's cricketing circles, has made a name for himself with 463 runs in 14 games but it waits to be seen if the Mumbai selectors will give him a break when Mumbai's Ranji Trophy team is announced closer to the start of the season.
At 27, Valthaty knows that time is not on his side. Mumbai have been struggling to find a steady opener ever since Wasim Jaffer decided to bat lower down the order over the past couple of seasons. They have tried nearly half-a-dozen players but haven't been able to find a steady partnership at the top of the order.
However, Valthaty doesn’t want to get carried away with the success he has enjoyed in the Twenty 20 format. Valthaty hopes to make the Ranji team but he knows he has tried his best.
“I enjoyed every moment of the IPL and certainly it will be my best moment. I’m not thinking too much about my selection. As a cricketer I will continue working hard,” Valthaty explained.
Valthaty shot into the limelight after he scored unbeaten 120 against Chennai Super Kings.
Pravin Amre, who has seen Valthaty from close quarters feels the talented boy has everything that is needed to succeed in the longer format too. “He is good talent and it won’t come as a surprise if he gets promotion (to Ranji Trophy). He has performed well in IPL and that will give him confidence. He has scored runs in local cricket too,” the former Mumbai coach said.
Last season Mumbai tried Omkar Gurav, Praful Waghela, Sushant Marathe and others but apart from Sahil Kukreja none performed up to expectations as an opener. “Scoring against quality sides is always good, I enjoyed my stint with Kings XI. It was a really good experience and probably the turning point of my career. I’m happy with the way things are going and I will hope my confidence remains high in the coming season too. I will take things as they come. I don’t like to think about what the future will hold for me. Let me enjoy this moment,” Valthaty added.