Delhi Ranji Trophy Player Aakash Sudan : “Road to comeback is difficult but not impossible”

Aakash Sudan

Akash Sudan comes from a city which has given India numerous International cricketers. 28yr old Delhi lad Aakash has himself scripted a cricketing journey which has been no less than a roller coaster ride. Even though, Aakash’s cricketing career has witnessed ups and downs, his hunger to get better everyday, his passion to give 100% during practice or on the cricket field makes him one promising prospect for Delhi Cricket.

Aakash made his first-class debut for Delhi in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy on 25th November 2017 while he has also played Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Delhi making his white ball debut in 2016. Standing at 6ft 2inches tall, Aakash is one quintessential fast bowler who manages to clock 130 kmph + on a consistent basis. 142 kmph is the highest speed Aakash has breached so far while you can always find him touch the higher 130’s when he is in full flow. With best bowling figures of 7/20 and 22 fifers till date across all levels, fast bowler Aakash certainly has a lot in his arsenal to offer.

Aakash Sudan Cricketer
  • In this exclusive interview with Bombaynews.in, we grill Aakash Sudan with some interesting questions related to Cricket:

From when did you start playing Cricket & how has the career panned out for you?

I started playing from the age of 5 under the coaching of my father Sunil Sudan. He has been one constant source of motivation and inspiration for me to take up cricket from a very young age. I started excelling in school cricket as an all-rounder scoring back to back tons as well as taking fifers at school level. My performances were even noticed by Rajinder Pal sir (Coach of Kapil Dev) who was at that time and still one of the most sought after cricket coaches in India. Post my school, I played college cricket, then I played corporate and club level cricket representing multiple teams and clubs and that’s how I charted my journey. I am also amongst the very few players to directly make a debut in a senior domestic team without playing age group state level cricket.

When did you realize that you wanted to become a fast bowler?

As I said I was always an all-rounder, i have smashed approx 17 centuries till now across all levels. But i have more fifers (22) than my centuries. With every passing day, I realized I am getting better with the ball in hand. Also my body frame (being tall) helped me to bowl fast and make an impact during my college and club cricket days. I still believe I can whack a few with the bat but yeah now I am a proper fast bowler who can bat.

You got smashed for 5 sixes in an over by Pandya, did life change after that for you?

Well life has indeed changed, I have not played T20 for Delhi since last 4.5 years i.e 53 months. An athlete’s career especially a fast bowler’s career is already short and imagine you missing out on playing top level cricket for a good 4-5 years, that’s almost 30-40% of my career lost. Post that match vs Baroda, I only played one match and after that season I never got a chance to play. Most of the people thought I am not good enough courtesy the mainstream media who made this incident so popular, that my career got affected and Pandya’s career took off from that day. However, for all those who don’t know, in that same T20 match, I had bowled 14 dot balls including a few vs Hardik but that was hardly noticed or acknowledged by any. I have no grudges or complaints, I have let go of my past and working hard everyday to make a comeback into the Delhi team. I still have that hunger to prove and perform.

What have been some of your most memorable moments on the cricket field?

My Delhi Ranji Call up was a moment I can never forget. Playing alongside Gautam Gambhir and practicing with him for the first time are some of the moments which are still fresh in my mind. I also played Delhi Ranji Trophy finals and I was taken in as Ishant Sharma’s replacement which were some really big shoes to fill. Getting a chance to play in the Ranji finals replacing a veteran with 300+ Test wickets is no less than a compliment. Apart from that, my debut match of Syed Mushtaq Ali has also been very memorable. I bowled a double maiden wicket over in my debut game at a time when team needed the most. Gautam bhai, the then skipper handed over the 17th over to me when opposition team were cruising towards a win. However, I bowled a great 17th over followed by the penultimate 20th over where I again came up with 5 dot balls which helped Delhi win by the narrowest of margins by 1 run qualifying for the knockouts of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Whom are you getting trained under currently and can you name some of the people who have been instrumental in your journey?

I am currently training under Madan Lal sir and Ajay Verma sir, Madan sir as we all know is a domestic legend who has also been a crucial part of the Indian team, on the other hand, Ajay Verma sir is also very experienced coach & I am lucky to get trained under two prolific cricket coaches at present.

Obviously first things first, it’s my father Sunil Sudan because of whom I started playing cricket. Post that I would like to thank all the coaches and clubs with whom I have played or practiced in all these years. However, I would like to thank in particular former Indian Cricketers Vijay Dahiya sir, Madal Lal sir and Manoj Prabhakar sir who went out of their way to support me, back me up to play for Delhi in the finals vs Vidarbha in Ranji Trophy. Vijay Dahiya sir saw that spark in me in the nets and it was because of his support, I got an opportunity to represent Delhi in T20’s as he recommended my name to our captain Gautam Gambhir who immediately backed me up & took me in the playing XI. One more person whom I look upto is none other than Gautam Gambhir, yes I am a bowler and he is a batsman but still I would consider him as my idol because of his mindset, his commitment, his respect towards the game, his aggression, his overall approach towards the game. Gautam bhai has been a source of support in all these years and I have learnt many things from him.

What are your future plans or goals in cricket?

You can come and see my practice regime, my fitness, the way I bowl in nets, there is no way I have given up, infact since my last game for Delhi in 2016, each and every day I have been working hard to make a comeback into the first class setup and make my state proud by helping them win matches with performances. I am working hard on my basics as well as on my fast bowling, the overall rhythm, release, landing, speed and body language which a fast bowler needs. I would request anyone to come and watch me in the nets because me speaking for myself would’nt make that impact than someone actually watching me play! I am eager to make a comeback for Delhi, play all formats while the desire is still there to play for India A followed by India and IPL.

Here’s wishing the young speedster all the luck for a great cricketing career ahead.

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