Dubai: It has been a dream come true for many UAE-bred players, who have donned the national colours in recent years.
The numerous young talents that have come through the ranks have started producing results for the Associate Nation, which in turn has made them dream even bigger.
One such product from the UAE is all-rounder Dhruv Parashar, who has been a consistent performer in the junior level cricket.
In the classic mould
The UAE all-rounder has shone with the ball and the bat in the ongoing Asia Cup Under-19 in Dubai, claiming six wickets against Bangladesh and followed it up with a half-century against Japan.
Parashar is now looking forward to playing in the semi-finals against Pakistan at the ICC Academy Grounds on Friday.
“I want to play Tests for the UAE and help my team win Test matches,” said the 18-year-old top-order batter and off-spinner.
Parashar, who prefers to play the game in a classic way than the one-dimensional attacking game, has the motto of playing the ball on merit and while bowling, he would wait for the batters to make the mistake. Ideal for the longer formats, where patience is a virtue in both 50-over games and more so in Tests.
Parashar aims to follow in the footsteps of Indian superstar batter Virat Kohli while batting and on the bowling front, he has been trying to operate like West Indies star Sunil Narine and Indian ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Taking a cue from the idols
“Obviously when I bowl, I need to try and outsmart the batter and vice versa. When I am batting, a lot of times I try and second guess as a bowler. I try to also get some clues from the opposition when they bowl and bat so that I can be ready for the challenges,” said Parashar.
“Narine and Ashwin have a lot of variations and I try to replicate them with my own twist to outfox the batters. Obviously, in batting I would like to play similar to Virat Kohli, the way he paces his innings. He scores at a good rate and bats the whole 50 overs, that what I want to do.”
Parashar, who has completed his A levels from Dubai English Speaking College, was part of the UAE team that won the Plate final in the 2022 Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies.
The UAE off-spinner had claimed four wickets against the West Indies in the semi-finals and followed it up with a Player of the Match effort against Ireland in the final.
But after moving high and becoming a part of the UAE senior team probables, he was not able to raise his game to that level and dropped off the senior team radar. The all-rounder could not even get an ILT20 team in the second season after being part of the Desert Vipers in the first edition.
Now Parashar is hoping that he will be able to sustain this form and get to play for the UAE senior team in the near future and also the various Twenty20 franchise leagues, including the ILT20.
UAE coach Mudassar Nazar is happy that the all-rounder has returned to his best. “Dhruv has been making progress but hit a snag in the last six months or so. But he’s been bounced back with such great performances, which is good for him and he’s done a wonderful job. The six wickets against Bangladesh has helped his confidence and against Japan he has scored a valuable 65,” said the former Pakistan opener.
Looking at the semi-finals against Pakistan on Friday, Parashar says he aims to do the same as he has been doing and contribute for the team’s cause.
“Any contribution to the team’s winning cause on such a huge stage is any players dream. In the first game, even though I bowled a good spell, we were not able to win the game after failing to chase down the target, I’m happy that I was able to contribute with the bat and ball against Japan to reach the semi-finals for the first time. These efforts, either with bat or ball, will boost the confidence and I hope to continue to contributing to the team’s cause,” he concluded.
The Friday’s semi-finals against Pakistan is not going to be an easy challenge for UAE, after the Green Shirts have finished on top of the Group A table that also has India and Afghanistan. But the coach Nazar is banking on their past experience and feels that the hosts have the team to win on their day.