“Performance is the first and last thing for me” : Exclusive interview with Sudip Chatterjee, the new cricket sensation of Bengal

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Four centuries in this Ranji season from the 6 games that Bengal has played. He has been the saviour and the pillar of the team and led them through tough situations. Sports-nova brings you an exclusive interview with the young, talented and the next big thing from Bengal, Sudip Chatterjee.

Cricket had been an integral part of Sudip Chatterjee’s life since childhood. His love for playing the game was immense and he could never dream of a life without the game. He barely missed an opportunity to watch Sachin Tendulkar play and it was his dream to play the game for his state and country in future since childhood. That dream and passion has helped a lot in becoming what he is today, reckons Sudip. His parents’ support through thick and thin had been a pillar for him since the start of his journey and Sudip accepts that this entire dream of his would not have been possible without them at all. He does not forget the help and support he has got from others – his coach Prosenjit Banerjee, Sanku sir who helped him when he played 2nd division cricket for Measurers Club. With them by his side he worked hard with perseverance and determination and he is finally starting to savor the results of his hard work.

Sudip started representing Bengal from under 15 level and went on to play for the under 19 team as well. Since the last two years he has been a vital cog in the Bengal team in Ranji trophy as well as for East Zone in the Duleep Trophy. Sudip holds every match that he has played important. However the innings of 99 against West Zone in last year’s Duleep Trophy stands special to him. “I cherish every moment that I get to play on the field, no specific match is important to me like that,” he admits.

Like most Indians Sachin Tendulkar is his idol. However he also liked to watch Kumar Sangakkara bat. He feels lucky to have been able to meet Sachin in the MCI camp and practice with him, who at that time was going through a rehab session. Though he didn’t get to interact with him personally he still vividly recalls a get together session where Sachin had answered to their questions.

A left-hander from Bengal who likes playing strokes in the off side – this characteristic in Sudip’s batting and his recent form has made a lot of cricket lovers in Bengal compare him to Sourav Ganguly. When asked about this, Sudip shoved aside all the comparisons calling Dada a legend and adding that he has still a lot to cover to fill in the large shoes that Sourav has left behind as a player.

Sudip celebrates after scoring a century. (Photo shared by Sudip Chatterjee)
Sudip celebrates after scoring a century. (Photo shared by Sudip Chatterjee)

With the number 3 position in the test team not yet claimed by anyone after Rahul Dravid’s retirement, perhaps we might get to see Sudip in that position in a couple of years given that he performs consistently in the domestic circuit. Sudip however doesn’t think about all this. He believes that if he can keep on performing well in the Ranji consistently he will automatically get a chance in the national team and get to prove himself in the international level. He stresses on the importance of his performances at present as they will be the basis for his selection into the national team in future.

VVS Laxman has played a very important role regarding the mental aspect of his game, admits Sudip. He says that it has been a great experience to learn more about the game from such a man who has been there at the international level for a very long time.

Bengal’s Mr. Dependable is very hopeful about his state’s prospects about qualifying for the Ranji quarterfinals. He said that the team has played well this season, further adding that the upcoming games against Odisha and Assam are going to be very important and the team needs to perform well in this two fixtures to ensure a passage to the quarters. Sudip praised the atmosphere in the Bengal dressing room as well as the coaching staff and the team management. Rohan Banerjee, Sayan Sekhar Mondal, Pankaj Shaw – the people with whom he has grown up playing cricket are his dressing room buddies. He also said that he enjoyed playing under the captaincy of both Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Manoj Tiwary and rated them equal as captains. He however refrained from commenting about the recent controversy involving Shukla.

East Zone selector Saba Karim has congratulated him on his recent run of performances and has told him to keep up with his good performances. This certainly has boosted the charismatic batsman, who whole-heartedly believes that politics and nepotism cannot stop him from getting into the national team in future if he keeps on performing well. When asked about the blind eye being shown to the East Zone players despite them performing well, taking Dada’s case as an example Sudip pointed out that politics was never able to stop him, and he kept on making comebacks only because of his performances.

He believes that politics and nepotism cannot stop him. (Photo shared by Sudip Chatterjee)
He believes that politics and nepotism cannot stop him. (Photo shared by Sudip Chatterjee)

On being deemed as a player more suited to the longer format of the game, Sudip says, “If I learn to adapt and play well and score in the longer format of the game, then I will be able to grow more in confidence and work about the improvisations and techniques required in the shorter format.”

A blushing Sudip denied having any girlfriend or crush in his life at present. While he is not playing cricket Sudip likes to spend his time with his friends and hang out with them. He also enjoys watching movies whenever he gets the time.

A simple and down to earth person, Sudip is clearly one of the best performing young talents in the country. We would like to see him perform consistently like he is doing at present, and hope that he will be representing the nation in the recent future. We wish him all the best for his journey ahead in the future.

 

(You may also like: Exclusive interview with Kolkata Knight Riders’ spinner KC Cariappa)

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