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"When I started serious cricket, I didn't know how far I could go in the sport or what I could achieve. I came from a village and I didn't know what was what. Then I played for the state under-19s, and as I watched Ranji Trophy games here, I gradually realized that cricket could take me somewhere if I worked hard."
That hard work is a recurring theme. His father, Shivalingaiah, who watched him in a competitive game for the first time last week, is a farmer. His village, Hosagavi, is a 25km journey from Mandya, where he went to pre-university. Often, he missed the last bus home for cricket practice. "I'd walk home sometimes, alone in the dark, wondering if cricket was worth all the trouble."
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