Dreams… what are they? Do they have a perfect definition?
Well, in scientific terms, it’s something that is housed in your subconscious mind. But practically, it’s the fuel to your ambitions. And what does it take to fulfill them? Hard work, dedication…? You might go on enlisting a number of elements but the process could be sporadic if you don’t find a support system.
A mix of all the aforementioned factors could turn the fortunes and the story of India’s Under-19 star Vicky Ostwal is the best narrative to understand its crux.
January 2022 was witnessing two different faces of Indian cricket. While the senior men’s team was going through a major transition of leadership in the Test format, a bunch of talented teenagers was fighting in the Caribbean for a world title. Social media was buzzing with stories of their heroics. After all, the Teenagers in Blue had won the title for the fifth time; the most by any nation.
Ostwal was one of the architects of India’s historic triumph. The left-arm spinner ended the tournament in the Caribbean as the highest wicket-taker for India, scalping a total of 12 wickets in 6 games.
“That was more than just a dream for me. I’ve always wished of playing for India but have never thought I’d end up as the highest wicket-taker. But in the end, winning the world cup was always important for me rather than taking the most number of wickets. Because team comes first and winning the trophy was the ultimate motto. It was a proud moment,” Ostwal said in an exclusive chat with News18 Cricketnext.
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An ardent fan of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, Ostwal started playing cricket when he was just 6 years old. A native of Lonavala, he needed to travel to Mumbai on a daily basis for quality coaching and his father took care of all that. After three years of hustle, when they came to know that Vicky can’t play for Mumbai, as he wasn’t a resident of the city, the father-son duo started commuting to Pune.
Another three years later, when Vicky started playing at the professional level, the Ostwal family shifted to the city of Pune, leaving behind the paradise of Lonavala. The youngster said he enjoyed that phase of his life, adding that it couldn’t have been possible for him without his father’s backing.
“When you are 6-7, you don’t know much about your life. Just give me a bat and a ball I’ll play with. So, I enjoyed every moment of that journey. And, of course, when you have your dad along with you, you are always confident as you have a great support system with you.
“Since I wasn’t living in Mumbai, I couldn’t play for the team. So, I went to Pune and play for Maharashtra. So, firstly I travelled from Lonavala to Mumbai and then to Pune for the next three years. And when I started playing at the professional level, we shifted to Pune because everyday travel was getting very hectic. That was the journey and now, the results are in front of everyone,” Vicky said.
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The World Cup triumph had made him the new Indian cricketing sensation. He earned his debut cap for Maharashtra in Ranji Trophy and made it to the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auctions as well. The happiness doubled up when he was roped in by Delhi Capitals at his base price of Rs 20 lakhs.
“I was with my Ranji team when the auctions were happening. When I got picked by Delhi Capitals, it was a huge moment for me. Being part of an IPL team at 19 years of age is a big thing. That certainly meant that I’m capable of playing at that level. I knew that I’ll be in contact with someone like Axar Patel in the coming days when I’ll be there in the camp and will be able to learn a lot from him. And he helped me a lot as well,” Vicky said.
Vicky, along with his U-19 captain Yash Dhull, entered the DC bio-bubble and literally had a fan-boy moment for the first few days. But soon, he got acclimatized to the environment that featured a legend like Ricky Ponting. The youngster might not have got a game this season but bowling to captain Rishabh Pant in the nets taught him some new lessons.
“I was very nervous for the first few days; didn’t how to approach someone because it was all new for me. It was the first time that I was interacting with all these legends. But I respect them a lot because of the way they treated me. I came in as a fanboy but they treated me like a colleague and a friend; sharing their experiences and having fun with me. With time, it all went well. I started settling myself in and realised that I’m part of this team. I’m very proud that I’m part of this team,” said Vicky.
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“I liked bowling to Rishabh Pant because he was the captain of the team. He was the most difficult batter to bowl to. And being a left-arm spinner, it’s always difficult to bowl to a left-hander. So, it was challenging and I enjoyed it,” he added.
The 19-year-old feels lucky and proud to be a part of the Delhi Capitals team but he has aspirations to play for India someday, especially in Tests.
“The Indian Test cap is all I dream of. That’s the most prestigious thing for any cricketer. Playing for India in all formats is obviously the motive but the Test cap will always be a special thing for me,” Vicky said.