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Bengal v Baroda, Calcutta, 1998-99 The Ranji debut against Baroda happened in 1999 in the knock-out stages at the Cricket and Football Ground in Calcutta on the back of good performances in the local league and club cricket. Air Max 95 Blanc Pas Cher . I got back-to-back 170s and I was picked as a specialist batsman, not as a wicketkeeper-batsman. Saba [Karim] was still in the team and was the captain and keeper. The team management asked me on the eve of the match if I would open; I said, fine. I had the experience of opening in the Under-19s, and I always considered myself as a batsman who could play anywhere.I remember I was a bit nervous. I spoke to my parents, who were in Delhi, over the the phone. But at that point of time you are young, you wanted to go out there and just play Ranji Trophy.We [Bengal] won the toss and asked them [Baroda] to bat first. Baroda batted for two days I think and put on a 500-plus score, Jacob [Martin] hit a double-hundred. I was fielding at silly-point for quite a while and it was a different feeling. There were times that I was fielding at square leg, fine leg, and even mid-on. It wasnt difficult, but it was alright; it was just that I wasnt used to it.Then it was our turn to bat after they were all out. A senior and somebody I also looked up to was Shrikant Kalyani; he made a fifty in my debut match. I had a good partnership with him. The day before the game he had these lovely shorts; he owned a sportswear company. I told him, I love these shorts yaar. Why dont you get me one? He replied he would get one if I score a hundred. I didnt take it seriously back then. But after coming back to the dressing room, after getting a hundred, I saw the piece of clothing on my bag. I dont remember the first ball I faced, but I distinctly remember that incident.I did not immediately realise the importance of the hundred. I was just involved in batting and wanted to play on. Making a Ranji debut was a big thing, you feel all the nervousness at the start. Baroda were a good team and Bengal did not have a good record in the knockout stages in those days.Luckily, Nikhil Haldipur opened with me. We used to spend a lot of time on the field and off the field too. We would go on to play in the same club for years. When I was nervous, he would walk up to me and say, Hey, just play like you do normally. Nikhil was also senior pro, he was into his fourth season of Ranji Trophy or something in 1999, and we shared a good rapport.After getting set, I felt I belonged there. I remember I used to sweep a lot, right from mid-on to fine leg. There was a left-arm spinner in the Baroda side, but I kept sweeping. If the fielder was square, I would place it fine. I backed my game, which was about not driving and not being too defensive. Sweep was my bread and butter and I liked to play my shots.Sharing the dressing room with Rohan [Gavaskar] and youngsters like Ranadeb [Bose], who made his debut a couple of matches in the league stage before I debuted at the knockouts, was also great. I had played club cricket with Shrikant and I had also played alongside Rohan before. The familiarity with the players helped me [settle down]. Safi [Ahmed] also made his debut with me. We go back a long way, we played Under-19s together, he batted at No. 6 and I had got out before him. Safi hung on and was not out in the 20s.Then there was Saba, you just wanted to look at people like him and learn. It was a jump from local cricket, Under-19s, to Ranji Trophy and I have been told things are not the same at the higher level. It was about trying to look around the dressing room and figure out how they prepared differently from a club game.When I look back, scoring a hundred on debut was immense. There were no mobile phones then; there were a lot of calls on the landline, and I spoke to my parents again, this time there was happiness, instead of nervousness. I got my sponsors, and acknowledgement from my parents, which was more special obviously. Because I was staying in Calcutta, away from my parents who were in Delhi, there was a lot of sacrifice involved both from myself and the family. Finally I felt it was worth all that.The debut was also massive considering Saba was still the captain and was keeping. He was the senior player in the state and also an India player. Getting a chance and telling people that I belong here made a difference. If I hadnt got a hundred, it would have been a different ball game altogether. There were other younger guys and a senior called Humza [Ferozie], who was also in the reckoning. The debut hundred was a big deal for me. Tn Pas Cher En France . 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