"I want to keep myself ready," Habib Gandhi wants to win Trophies for Bengal

Bengal wicket-keeper batter Habib Gandhi says he is ready for any opportunities that come his way in the second phase of Ranji Trophy.

Koushik Biswas
New Update

Habib Gandhi came into the squad after having some great seasons at the age level cricket for Bengal. Although he was included in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and Ranji Trophy's first phase, he is yet to make his debut for the Bengal team. However, the wicket-keeper batter is keeping himself ready to grab any opportunity that might come his way. He shared his thoughts in an exclusive interview with Sportz Point.

Both Habib and Abishek Porel were included in the Ranji Trophy squad as Wriddhiman Saha was unavailable for the first phase of the Ranji Trophy. Therefore, the debut of one of the wicket-keepers was a definite thing. Porel was given the chance as he was coming with loads of runs from the Cooch Behar Trophy.

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In this era of competition the southpaw feels, it is the team that matters the most. "Look the team is doing great. There is healthy competition for every place in the team. The team environment is superb. So, I want to keep myself ready to grab anything that comes my way. I am keeping myself in the in shape for that," Habib said.

All the players from the Bengal squad are playing in the first-division club matches to keep themselves ready for the next phase of the Ranji Trophy. Habib feels it is important to get used to the temperature. But, he also feels when you see the trophy whenever you close your eyes, the heat does not matter to you anymore. "When you see the trophy, every negative energy gets away. You then just want to keep your focus and grind hard," the wicket-keeper added.

Habib Gandhi while hitting a six in a club game for Tapan Memorial club | Bengal Cricket | Cricket News | Sportz Point Speaks

Habib Gandhi while hitting a six in a club game for Tapan Memorial club. Image - Sportz Point.

However, staying in shape in this heat and atmosphere is hard for any athlete. "You need to be disciplined. Eating clean, sleeping well and doing the gym stuff is necessary. I am doing everything to stay in shape and fit to improve every day."

Like the all-rounders in the team. the keeper batters need to give more attention to both of their skills; batting and wicket-keeping. Habib had gone to Ex-KKR star Manvinder Bisla's camp in Delhi in the off-season to make himself better. "I wanted to get the atmosphere of Delhi cricket. There is lots of competition as well. Bisla sir helped me with my keeping as well," Gandhi added.

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Habib had nearly pulled off a great win for Bengal in the C.K. Nayudu Trophy match against Punjab. But, he could not. Although, Subhomoy Das, the Chairman of the selection committee was very happy to see the young batter dominate the opponent.

"Yes, if you can't dominate at the age level, then how can you be able to play for IPL teams and team India. I believe, that whenever I bat the opponent should feel that this player can take the game away from us. This is how I want to carry myself as a player."

Habib feels the experience of the first phase of the Ranji Trophy has helped him a lot when it comes to game reading abilities. "I saw how seniors like Manoj (Tiwary) da, Ruku da (Anustup Majumdar) and Lal sir (Arun Lal) reads the game. Watching them has helped me read the game situation better."

The wicket-keeper batter from Bengal has played in every age level starting from U-19s for Bengal. But what is the difference between the first-class level and the age level? "It's all about the mind," he answered.

"The only thing that gets better is the quality of bowling. We will have to be patient there. But if you see, we play first-class bowling lineups at the club level as well. If you play against clubs like Kalighat or Mohun Bagan, or East Bengal you are facing a full first-class level bowling lineup. So, it helps us a lot to be prepared for that level. "

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In the last few months, many great things have happened for Habib Gandhi. But, according to him his time with Wriddhiman Saha was the best of them. "From childhood, I had dreamt to be like him. Meeting him during the SMAT was a dream come true moment for me. Having breakfast, lunch, and dinner with him was just a great feeling. The little things he told me have helped me to get better as a human being and a cricketer," he added.

Sportz Point Speaks Bengal Cricket Ranji Trophy