Satyajit Parab is an attacking opening batsman from Baroda and has been a very important part of the Baroda team for the past 6-7 years. He played a very important role in Baroda clinching the Ranji Trophy in 2001 by scoring a century when it mattered the most. With 2 centuries already in this season against Maharashtra, he seems an interesting prospect to watch out for. Cricketfundas.com’s Ashwat Ramani caught up with Satyajit Parab for an exclusive interview.
Satyajit Parab, you started off this season with 2 centuries against Maharashtra in different innings. So are you eyeing at something big this season?
No, it’s nothing like that. I just want to reach my target of around 4-5 centuries in a season. I also want to do well for my team. I wish my team performs well throughout the season.
The highlight of your career was the Ranji Trophy final that Baroda won in 2001. Talk us through that final against Railways.
Yeah it was a memorable match for us. I scored 141 in the 2nd Innings and was very happy for myself and the team. Actually we didn’t do well in the 1st Innings and were down by around 100 runs in the 1st Innings. So it was important for me to give a good start and we were sure that a lead of around 200 would be difficult for the opposition to get. We had a very good bowling attack to help our cause and the rest is history.
Ok, let’s shift back to the beginning of your career, how did you start playing cricket and who was your role model?
Actually, to be frank I didn’t have any role model. I started playing cricket when I was 10 years old in Baroda. I used to watch cricket on T.V just like any other kid and was very much addicted to playing the game. So, that’s how I started playing cricket. I was coached by Mr D.K. Gaekwad and his contribution to my game is immense.
You have been opening for Baroda for quite a long time now. So what according to you is the basic difference between an opener and a middle order batsman from the technical point of view? How different is an opener’s mindset when compared to that of a middle-order batsman?
Oh, there is a vast difference between an opening batsman and a middle order batsman. As an opener, I can talk about the characteristics of an opener. An opener has got to be very much disciplined and more careful. The openers have to face the new ball so they need to be very watchful at the start. An opener’s part in the team is very decisive and they have to cut down the risks during the early hours of the match.
You have some experience playing Club Cricket in England. Talk us through that.
Yeah, I just played a game against Nottinghamshire. It was a good experience playing in those conditions against a quality team. I faced some quality bowlers like Daniel Vettori and scored 90 runs in that match. That was the only match that we won and we were chasing some 330 odd runs in that match. The wickets were quite flat, but the weather was very cold and moist. Actually, I also had the experience of playing club cricket in Scotland, so that helped my cause.
How important has Balvinder Singh Sandhu’s contribution to Baroda been as a coach?
Yeah, he is a very experienced coach and has been very helpful to us. He was also with the National Cricket Association for a long time, so that has helped us too. A coach’s job is not an easy one, but he has done it really well and we are thankful to him.
What is your strategy going to be for the rest of this Season?
I just want to score as many runs as possible. I want my team to do well with my performances and I’ll try to give my 100%. We want to make sure that we aren’t relegated out of the Elite Group.
Tell us about the structure of club cricket in Baroda.
Club Cricket in Baroda is not that well structured. Mumbai is the only place in the Western Zone for quality club cricket. Even Ahmedabad isn’t that good as far as Club Cricket is concerned.
You’ve played around 7 years of First Class Cricket now for Baroda. So who have been the most difficult bowlers among the ones whom you’ve faced?
I think Ajit Agarkar has been a very good bowler all these years and he doesn’t give easy runs. Apart from him, Balaji is a wonderful bowler and so is Zaheer Khan. These are the few bowlers whom I find difficult to score runs of.
Over the past few years, we have seen bowlers like Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan from Baroda who have done well both at the First Class Level as well as the International level. Why haven’t the batsmen from Baroda been able to establish themselves in the Indian team?
Yeah there were quite a few batsmen who did well but I think they were unlucky not to continue in the team. Guys like Jacob Martin have done well but were unlucky not to carry on in the future. You even had Connor Williams who was selected in the Indian Team, but he too was unlucky for not having been selected again.
So what are Satyajit Parab’s plans for the future? Are you looking forward for a place in the Indian Team?
I don’t know, I will just keep on scoring runs for the team and that’s my most important aim for now. I want to consistently score runs for my team which would be good both for the team and me.