Vishnu Vinod eager to grab opportunities

Vishnu Vinod
Vishnu Vinod was part of the Delhi Capitals squad in IPL 2021. Photo: By Special Arrangement

Kerala may have failed to get past Tamil Nadu in the quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 competition but their middle-order batter Vishnu Vinod turned many heads with a sensational knock against the defending champions. The right-hander scored an unbeaten 65 off just 26 balls and took Kerala to a challenging total off 181/4. Vishnu, who will turn 28 on December 2, smashed seven sixes and two fours in his blistering knock and brought up his fifty off a mere 22 balls.

However, Tamil Nadu chased down the target with three balls to spare and dashed Kerala's dreams of a maiden semifinal appearance in the tournament. 

"It was a close game. Once we posted 180-plus, we were confident of defending it. There were not many big totals in the tournament. But we failed to pick up early wickets and it proved detrimental to our chances," Vishnu told Onmanorama over the phone.

With his exploits in the match, which was telecast live, Vishnu has definitely done himself a favour ahead of the mega auction that will precede the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season. A native of Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district, Vishnu did not get a chance to showcase his skills despite being part of the Delhi Capitals squad in IPL 2021. He was picked up for his base price of Rs 20 lakh in the auction.

"It was frustrating to be kept on the sidelines. But as a professional I understand it's part and parcel of the game. I hope to grab the opportunity as and when it comes. My aim is to do well in next month's (Vijay) Hazare Trophy (one-day championship)," he said.

Vishnu Vinod
Vishnu Vinod watches as Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan bats in the nets. Photo: By Special Arrangement

Vishnu, who has the ability to play the big shots from the outset, batted at No.5 and No. 6 for Kerala in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He had scored an unbeaten 62 of 43 balls, coming in at No. 6, in a narrow six-run defeat to Railways in the group stage.

"You've to be mentally tough to succeed in these slots. Sometimes, you have to play your shots from the first ball, and on other days, you've to rebuild the innings. I play according to the match situation and try to prepare for the challenges ahead."

Vishnu, who is also a wicketkeeper, has been playing as a specialist batter for the past couple of seasons, with Kerala having Mohammed Azharuddeen and captain Sanju Samson too in their ranks. "I had kept wickets in a few Ranji (Trophy) matches in 2019. We've got three keepers in the squad. I do hone my wicketkeeping skills in practice matches," added Vishnu.

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