Dhiman and his Bond Connection

Gaurav Dhiman used to open the bowling for India in the 2004 edition of the under-19 world cup. Mentored by Frank Tyson and Paras Mhambrey, he showed great promise as someone who could prodigiously swing the ball and bend his back when needed. But somewhere down the line his priorities shifted and he is now more of a batsman than a bowler. In this year's world cup, he is opening the batting (Shikar Dhawan and Robin Uthappa were the opening batsmen in 2004). He no longer opens the bowling and comes into bowl only if there is a real need for a change. His aggressive top-order batting came to the fore in last year's Afro Asia cup when he scored three big hundreds in real quick time. In the opening game against Namibia in the current World Cup he made a 70 ball 90. He wasn't sent in to open against Scotland as the team management decided to give batting practice to the other batsmen.

Express India caught up with him at the Taj Samudra and managed to get some interesting sound bytes. Check this bit about his Bond connection.

Last year, when the Kiwi fast bowler was returning from injury and preparing for the tri-series involving India and Zimbabwe he ran into Dhiman at an invitational tournament in Australia.

‘‘I was touring with Karnataka under-19 team and he was playing for a club. I flicked him for a six and there were other such hits around the ground. The match ended with Bond telling me, ‘See you in the seniors side at Zimbabwe’,’’ says Dhiman.

I just wish he concentrates on his bowling more. I don't think he can power his way into the senior squad just by scoring big runs in the under-19 world cup (Shikar did that in 2004 - where is he now?). The only way he can get into the top rungs sooner is if he can be a quality all-rounder. The kid is talented and I wish the likes of Venkatesh Prasad (the current under-19 coach) would guide him properly and get the best out of him.

[Pic Courtesy: K. Bhagya Prakash (The Hindu) - more than 2 years old]

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