In Kolkata Knight Riders' last match against Lucknow Super Giants, skipper Shreyas Iyer announced a change in the team. The team which shuffled the most in this season, have got debutant Abhijeet Tomar in the place of Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane was ruled out of IPL 2022 due to injury.
Here are all the details about the new Knight -
- Meet Abhijeet Tomar:
Abhijeet Tomar is a right-handed opening batsman who hails from Jaipur, Rajasthan. While his father is a retired judge and his brother is currently pursuing law, this Knight has always aspired to smash runs by playing cricket.
Tomar's father recognised his love and talent for cricket very early and he was enrolled on a cricket academy at the age of just eight years. His father supported his passion immensely and allowed him to focus only on his game provided he got at least passing marks in exams.
He has been playing for his state's domestic circuit. Tomar has made waves by top-scoring for Rajasthan in the Vijay Hazare Trophy last year, hitting 333 runs at an average of 66.60. He also has two half-centuries and one century to his name.
Setbacks and Comeback:
After striving hard, Tomar finally made his state debut in the 2018-19 season. However, life had other plans and he couldn’t play for too long due to injuries and Covid-19 suspending domestic cricket in Rajasthan and the country.
It was during the same time Tomar went ahead to pursue a law degree during the break.
He didn't lose hope in cricket and worked with his mentor Dishant Yagnik, current Rajasthan Royals fielding coach, to hone his techniques and skills. The hope for a comeback was still there.
And then in last season’s Vijay Hazare trophy, he hit an unbeaten 104 against a Punjab bowling attack that included Siddharth Kaul, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar and Mayank Markande. He didn't stop there, he hammered 92 runs against Goa and then scored 58 against services to finish as Rajasthan’s leading run-scorer in the competition.
His contribution was deemed not good enough to be a T20 player by his state squad and he faced a setback once again as he was forced to miss India’s key domestic T20 tournament the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy.
The silver lining in the form of IPL:
Tomar was invited for trials by three teams namely Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians. He scored an unbeaten 70 in a trial T20 game for the Royals. After that KKR asked him to play a variety of roles.
Then came the day of the auction, where the aggressive batsman was chosen by the Knight Riders for Rs 40 Lakhs.
Come to the auction, Tomar was quietly confidently one of the two teams would pick him and indeed, after a brief bidding war between KKR and RR, the Knight Riders secured his services for INR 40 Lakhs.
It is truly said, 'Everything is written' because if KKR had not picked him up at the auction, he had planned to quit cricket and become a lawyer.