Tamil Nadu opening batsman Abhinav Mukund is one of three Indian players heading to Brisbane's Centre of Excellence after being selected for the prestigious Border-Gavaskar annual scholarship program. Abhinav will be joined by Maharashtra left-arm seamer Jitendra Patil and Uttar Pradesh allrounder Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Abhinav and Bhuvneshwar were especially successful in the Ranji Trophy last season. Abhinav finished the tournament with 856 runs at an average of 85.60, striking four centuries including an unbeaten 300. Bhuvneshwar starred in the final against Mumbai, bagging a five-for in the first innings. He owns the distinction of being the only bowler to have dismissed Sachin Tendulkar for a duck in the Ranji Trophy. He also chipped in with useful contributions with the bat, making 41 and 80, though his team ended up losing by a massive margin. Patil is yet to play first-class cricket.
"Winning the Border-Gavaskar scholarship and getting a chance to train in Australia is a tremendous opportunity for us," Abhinav told reporters at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. "Personally, I am looking forward to training under coach Greg Chappell and I am keen to learn about playing in different conditions.
"For instance, in Australia, they use the kookaburra ball and I want to cope with the extra swing and also work on my early minutes of play. I enjoy the game and I want to keep playing well rather than worry about issues like selection."