Benoni, Feb 10 (PTI) He dons the India blue but yellow seems to be the flavour of the season for India U-19 wicketkeeper Aravelly Avanish.
And why won't he be? On Sunday, Avanish will be playing the biggest match of his short career, the U-19 World Cup final against the Australians, clad in most iconic yellow jersey in cricket universe.
Then it will be time when he himself gets to wear the second most popular yellow jersey and meet the man who inspired him to don the big gloves.
It will be his IPL stint with Chennai Super Kings and the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni that the Hyderabadi boy is so looking forward to.
The two-and-half months of cricketing education at CSK, getting a chance to interact with Dhoni and picking his brains on all things cricket is certainly on top of his wish-list. "I could not believe that I have been selected by CSK. It took a while to realise that. I was at home that time and our phone was continuously ringing on that day," the 18-year-old told PTI Bhasha at Willmore Park here.
For him, post U-19 World Cup final, the sole aim is to make his "Dhoni sir proud." "I want to make Dhoni sir and the CSK family proud. IPL is not in my mind right now. After the final, I will think about it but it is a dream of every cricketer to be a part of the CSK team and play under Dhoni sir," Avanish told PTI in an exclusive interview ahead of big-ticket game against Australia.
"It was really a dream come true moment for me," said Avanish, the son of a software engineer, whose interest for the game developed accompanying his father in watching cricket.
Watching cricket on a couch with his father was Avanish's favourite hobby since childhood. The seeds of passionate cricketer was in the Aravelly household back then.
"I have always wanted to become a cricketer since childhood. Papa used to watch cricket on TV when I was a kid. I used to sit with him and that’s how my interest developed,” he said.
He can't wait to get started at CSK and excitement knows no bounds thinking about how will he react when he meets Dhoni.
"I want to learn about the mindset in pressure situations from him. Like when the team is under pressure and not performing well, how he uses his mind to win matches from those situations.
"His WC 2011 final inning. There is so much to learn from him," said Avanish, who made heads turn at the quadrangular series in November.
He walked into bat at 95 for 5 in a mammoth chase of 376 and ended up smashing 163 off 93 balls, including 13 sixes, to help his side win.
He topped that feat by smashing 274 runs in six innings at the Vinoo Mankad Trophy (Under-19 one-day competition), striking at 148. These performances earned him a List A debut with Hyderabad at the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
He also wants to ask Dhoni about keeping up to the spinners and how one can improve reflexes.
"I also want to learn wicket-keeping spinners and how to effect the fastest of stumpings," said the player .
He idolises Australian great Adam Gilchrist and keeps watching his videos in free time.
"Gilchrist is my all time favourite. I have learnt a lot watching him. His reading of the game and how he keeps self belief in every situation. He is also left-handed and I am too. Never met him but I want to meet soon,” he said.
On the preparation for the final he said that the team is confident of continuing India's dominance in the tournament.
"We have come here to win the world cup and till now executed the plans well. We are playing as a unit and hopefully will continue to do the same." Asked about the final, Avanish sounded cool as cucumber.
"We are all geared up for the finals and not worried about the pressure of expectations. Hotel jane ke baad khud ko pura switch off kar dete hai. (Once I am back in hotel, I completely switch myself off. We talk about other things to rejuvenate and re energise," he said. PTI MJ KHS KHS