Monday, March 11, 2013

Kaunain : The Barbarian

Yes, it's Kaunain. If you think I should have spell-checked the title of this post before publishing, you've got it wrong. I'm talking about Kaunain Abbas, the lanky, 6 ft. 3 in. tall captain of the Southern Champs, Jain University, Bangalore. Instead of carrying a sword and a shield, he has a bat in his hands and still, he manages to evoke the same kind of terror from the opposition.

The inaugural Toyota University Cricket Championship has finally come to an end, the final of which saw the Southern Champs, Jain University, Bangalore snatch the trophy from the clutches of Jamia Milia Islamia, under the inspirational leadership of their captain, Kaunain Abbas.

The tournament has brought to the forefront many talented cricketers. But Kaunain stands out from the rest. And of course, no prizes for guessing, he's bagged the Player of the Tournament award for his consistent performance throughout the tournament. Averaging over 104 and scoring runs at a strike rate of 134.91, he has managed to score 313 from the 5 matches that he has played. No wonder then, the second highest run scorer in the tournament, Mumbai's Kevin D'Almeida, is more than 100 runs behind him.

What's most impressive about this young lad is that he is a thinking cricketer. He uses his brawn as well his brain quite maturely. A die hard fan of Mr. Dependable Rahul Dravid, Kaunain, himself, has picked up a thing or two from the cricketing icon he idolizes. In this all important final against Jamia, when they had lost the top 3 wickets even before opening their account, he shunned his normal attacking style of cricket and played a mature innings along with his partner, Shreyas Gopal, putting together 98 runs for the 4th wicket. He eventually got out at 33 of 45 deliveries, after having played at a pace unlike him. Defending a low total of just 122 runs and playing at Jamia's home ground where a capacity crowd of over 20K+ were all rooting for Jamia, Kaunain maintained his cool and his spirit rubbed on to his team mates as well. The Bangalore team had some pretty good bowlers and Kaunain used them to perfection. He rotated the bowlers and made   the changes in the field pretty well which did pay its dividends. He kept the pressure on the batsmen and didn't let the match slip away. Ultimately, the boys from Jamia crumbled under the pressure and the match ended with a thrilling win by 2 runs in favour of the Bangalorians.

His most impressive performance has been against the Eastern Eagles, when he scored a brilliant 128* of just 65 balls, hitting the bowlers ruthlessly all over the park. This was also the tournament's first century by any player.

TUCC has had a great opening and players like Kaunain have shown what young University cricketers are capable of. Don't be surprised if you find Abbas being roped in by any IPL team one month from now. Wishing this young lad success in all his endeavours. Hoping to see him donning the Indian colours soon!

To know more about Kaunain and TUCC, follow this link


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