When Gokul Sharma made his First Class debut for Assam again in 2004, he wouldn’t have imagined he would go on to play for the State for almost 20 years.
These had been the times when outstation visitor gamers would typically be most well-liked, and for children like Gokul, it was essential to make the uncommon alternatives depend. However then, the batting all-rounder stood his floor and regardless of not being an everyday within the enjoying eleven, he by no means misplaced hope and went on to play 82 First Class and 65 Listing A video games for Assam and East Zone.
“Earlier, the players would come from other states and our boys would get fewer opportunities. And even if we got chances, we would have to bat lower down the order at No. 6 or No.7. But there’s no denying the fact that we learned a lot from the outstation players,” Gokul informed Sportstar.
Again then, the likes of Amol Muzumdar and Dheeraj Jadhav would play for Assam, and Gokul and his contemporaries being children, would decide their brains. “Since we could share the dressing room with Amol bhai and other noted players, we learned a lot for sure, but then, things have changed now.”
Over the previous few years, the Assam Cricket Affiliation has completed away with its visitor participant coverage and that definitely has opened up extra alternatives for home-grown abilities.
“Each and every player has to take more responsibility now. Initially, it was a challenge to cope with the situation without any outstation professional players, but slowly things have improved. We have started beating big teams and that has boosted our morale,” Gokul stated.
“We are slowly developing that winning mindset that we are capable of beating any team. We had close games in most of Ranji Trophy games this season.”
Nonetheless, on Friday, Assam suffered an enormous defeat by an innings and 128 runs – its first loss within the match – towards Mumbai in a vital Ranji Trophy Elite Group B conflict. Gokul, although, shone with scores of 70 and 82 towards the robust bowling line-up.
Within the absence of Kunal Saikia, Gokul was the stand-in captain. Whereas his gritty knock within the first innings guided Assam 370 in pursuit of Mumbai’s mammoth 687 for 4, his knock within the second essay confirmed his character. Coming in at a time, when Assam was reeling at 17 for 5, after being enforced a follow-on, Gokul fought a lone battle.
“Throughout the game, the wicket was very good for batting. It was not helping bowlers at all. So, better application was needed from our batters, but that did not happen in the second innings,” Gokul stated.
The seasoned campaigner believes that gamers got here underneath strain after being enforced a follow-on, however then, he doesn’t need to put that as an excuse.
“It happens when you are asked to follow-on. But then, we need to play according to the situation.”
Whereas there was a pall of gloom within the Assam dressing room after the defeat towards Mumbai, Gokul had a chat along with his gamers, advising them to shrug off the frustration and look ahead.
“I told them that we cannot expect to win all the seven games, but we need to look at the positives and improve our game. We have two games remaining and it is important that we start thinking about those two and planning accordingly.”
Assam will play Tamil Nadu subsequent. “Now it is important to move ahead. We all know that we could have done better against Mumbai, but it’s okay. We need to show character and look ahead.”
On this season, Gokul scored a century towards Delhi after which had two essential knocks towards Mumbai. The 38-year-old desires to maintain the momentum going and his goal is to win the Ranji Trophy title earlier than hanging up his boots. He stop from limited-overs format final 12 months and needs to maintain issues easy.
“At times, players take things easy but for me, playing for Assam is a huge deal. As big as playing for India. I want to play with the same sort of seriousness and deliver for my State,” Gokul stated.
Although he’s nearing 40, Gokul hasn’t considered hanging up his boots simply but. He desires to bow out by profitable a Ranji Trophy title for Assam. “I want to take one step at a time and obviously, being someone who has played first-class cricket for years, the ultimately goal is to win a Ranji Trophy for Assam,” he stated.
Going ahead, Gokul believes the workforce ought to begin its pre-season early and play extra video games main as much as the season. “We have quite a few challenges in terms of weather and other issues, so it often delays our preparation. But going forward, we need to play more pre-season games and tournaments – individually and as a team – to get into the groove when the season begins. That will help us,” Gokul stated.
A soft-spoken, severe cricketer, Gokul is very revered by his teammates and even the junior crop of Assam cricket appears to be like as much as him. Having served the workforce for 19 lengthy years, Gokul desires to show his goals of profitable the Ranji Trophy title into actuality earlier than calling it a day.
The street, Gokul is aware of, is uphill, however the journey is price it.