The Mumbai coach Dinesh Lad remembers when a short boy Suved Parkar walked into his school nets at Borivali with his parents who requested him to enroll their son in the Swami Vivekanand International High School team. A short stint of batting against tennis ball convinced the coach to do the needful. “His bat di lui was coming nicely behind the ball and his eyes di lui remained on the ball. I felt we can work on this boy, ”remembers Lad, who has coached Rohit Sharma and Shardul Thakur amongst others. The hand-eye coordination that attracted the coach was on display over the last couple of days when the 21-year old Parkar slammed 252 on debut against Uttarakhand in the Ranji quarter-finals before he was run out.
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A few years after he joined, Lad called Parkar’s parents with a request. “I told them please don’t ever try to stop the child from playing cricket. Academics can take a back seat for a while as I feel that he has something in him to become a good cricketer. Their parents of him agreed and the best part about his family of him was that their parents of him never interfered in his cricket, ”Lad recalls. A son of a banker and mother, who had represented Maharashtra in kho-kho championship, Parkar has been waiting for his opportunity at the big stage.
On Monday and Tuesday, Parkar showcased the ability to stay long at the crease, ticking all boxes in his first big encounter. Over 450 balls, 25 fours and 3 sixes have already flown from his bat.
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Parker came under the selection radar after hammering three hundreds in four games in a local A division tournament. He was picked for Mumbai under-25 after an unbeaten hundred which helped Mumbai clinch the under-25 CK Nayudu Trophy. That knock had come in a crisis after Mumbai were limping at 50 for 6 and he added 194 runs with Shams Mulani in an exciting chase. In the white-ball cricket in the past, he has shown a preference to cut, upper-cut, and play the lofted drive of mid-off against seamers. He has also likes to work his wrists to swat the ball behind square-leg.
He was far more patient and conservative with his shot selections, initially, at the ongoing Ranji game. He had received the cap from former India opener WV Raman.
A ton on #RanjiTrophy debut! 👏 👏
Watch 🎥 🔽https: //t.co/dgPAEzLbUb pic.twitter.com/Fs34pzXP5f
– BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) June 6, 2022
Just a few months ago, though, things were a touch dire. Lad recalls that phase when Parkar was low on confidence.
“He was going through a patch where nothing was happening for him. So we decided to go back to basics. For two hours, every day, we did the ‘cone practice’. It’s a drill where a batsman keeps the ball on a cone and has to hit it straight. He has to do this all by himself. This improves focus. He did it quietly and the best part is he is ready to work hard. Always ready to go that extra mile to do better. He has never complained about anything till date and these runs are the result of his sincerity of him, ”Lad adds.