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21 Apr 2011

Paul Valthaty rises as a star in IPL 2011

What a performance from Paul Valthaty once again!! He is undoubtedly the best man to watch, isn't he? He is on fire against his first IPL team Rajasthan Royals as he scores 46 runs off just 31 balls, clearing the rope 7 times (4 fours, 3 sixes). Though this is not his best inning in 2011 season, it is still an important knock that helps Kings XI Punjab accelerate at the run rate of 10+. They are certainly on the verge of becoming the first team in 2011 to score above 200 (However, at the time I finish this post, Punjab finished their inning at 195/7). 

Paul Valthaty made his IPL debut in 2009, where he played for Rajasthan Royals; but unfortunately, he could not leave any impression. He appeared in 2 matches as opener, scoring only 6 runs with the poor strike rate of 50. Not the kind of start we would have expected from Valthaty, who is currently butchering the opponent bowling. Valthaty lost his place in Rajasthan team and remained out of IPL for 2010 season. His return in IPL became possible when he was signed by Punjab as an uncapped Indian player, credit goes to his few good knocks for Mumbai T20 side. He justified his inclusion in the team with a blistering 120 runs off just 63 balls that included 19 fours and 2 sixes. His expression after scoring his maiden century in IPL showed how determined he was to prove himself this time. He continued his great form with a score of 75 runs off just 47 balls against Deccan Chargers. Punjab romped to victory in both occasion and Valthaty suddenly turned as a hero from zero. 

Paul Valthaty doesn't have a great domestic record. His early days of cricket were disturbed by an eye injury that he suffered while playing against Bangladesh in 2002 U-19 world cup. He could not revive back to form quickly and disappeared from mainstream cricket for long time. He appeared in list A cricket only once in his cricket career, played for Mumbai in domestic one day match against Barodara in 2006. Despite being naturally talented, he couldn't do good in the opportunity he got. But in IPL 2011, he is showcasing the real him. His strokeplay is awesome, has a good balance of timing and strength; and most of his shots come from the middle of the bat. He could definitely make to the T20 national side if he continues performing better. Another exciting batsman produced by Indian cricket.

Also read: The best talent Ambati Rayudu needs exposure.

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