IPL news May 24, 2012

Gurkeerat keen to play Ranji Trophy

ESPNcricinfo staff

Gurkeerat Singh, the Kings XI Punjab batsman, has said he hopes the confidence he gained by playing alongside Adam Gilchrist and David Hussey in the IPL will help him make the Punjab squad in the Ranji Trophy this season.

Gurkeerat, who scored 86 runs from four innings at 28.66 in the IPL, said that his next goal is to succeed in the domestic season. "Every cricketer grows up with a dream of playing for India and donning the national colours. I also have that dream to follow. To fulfill that dream, I need to do well for Punjab at the domestic circuit," Gurkeerat told Sportline.

"It would be wonderful if I get to taste Ranji Trophy and other eminent tournaments playing for Punjab. I do not want to be labelled a T20 specialist, instead I want to be known as someone who was the best in every format."

Gurkeerat, 21, was picked for Kings XI after scoring heavily in domestic tournaments in the run-up to the IPL. "I had a good season for Punjab in 2010, so I was expecting an IPL call-up last season. However, that did not happen. Having done well for Punjab in T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2011, I had the belief that I would be selected. When Kings XI signed me, I was over the moon."

He said the wait was worth it, as it gave him the chance to rub shoulders with top-class international cricketers. "When you get to face bowlers like Dale Steyn, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel and Shane Watson, as a player one's confidence levels soar high naturally," he said. "Then one learns to play under pressure and crunch situations. When established players come with advice, one wants to soak in every bit of it. Not many people knew me before IPL. But now, even when I go to the market people recognise me. So the IPL has been an enriching experience for me."

Gurkeerat's best IPL display came against Deccan Chargers on May 13, when he scored 29 from 12 balls to help his side win by four wickets. "I just played my natural aggressive game and blasted whatever came my way. Hussey, too, kept pushing me and fortunately, we won the match.

"Gilly was quite patient with me during the start of the camp. He would do wicketkeeping drills with me, tell me the wicketkeeping tricks and spend time with me over my batting. Hussey was also a great teacher and I really admired these two men on the cricket field for their professionalism."

Edited by Carlyle Laurie