Anuj Rawat eyes long-term role with Royal Challengers Bengaluru as wicketkeeper-batter

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Anuj Rawat certainly has his sights set on long-term role with the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) as a wicketkeeper-batter after an impressive outing against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the opening match of the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL).

Rawat kept the wickets in the season opener against defending champions CSK despite RCB including Dinesh Karthik in the XI, and also top-scored for them with a knock of 48 off just 25 balls. Karthik, who had been the Royal Challengers’ first-choice wicketkeeper-batter since joining the side in 2022, has already indicated that he will be making his final IPL appearance this season.

It was quite fitting that the 24-year-old left-hander played that innings in the company of Karthik, who scored an unbeaten 38 as the pair helped the Royal Challengers post a competitive 173 on the board after opting to bat, though the total would be easily eclipsed by the Super Kings in the end.

Rawat said the RCB management has clearly communicated to him about his new role in the team.

“The communication has been very clear to me as in batting down the order. As someone keeping wickets, you have to bat in the middle-order a lot,” Rawat said in a press-conference ahead of RCB’s match against Punjab Kings on Monday.

The Delhi cricketer, who kept wickets for RCB in the last couple of matches during the IPL 2023, said his confidence level has improved.

“Last season also, I kept wickets in a few games and it gave me more confidence and as this season goes on, I am looking forward to contributing more as a wicketkeeper batsman,” said Rawat.

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Vishwas Gupta