I haven't felt so fit: Aparajith

CHENNAI: B Aparajith has not had many days off in the last month and a half. If the Vijay Hazare Trophy saw Aparajith accumulate 598 runs of 12 starts to be the fourth best player of the tournament, he took the good streak to the resulting Deodhar Trophy too. Appearing for India 'B', the 25-year-old led the batting lists with 167 3-inning races that included a century and 50.

Things may be going well for Aparajith right now, but that was not the case earlier this year. An ordinary Vijay Hazare Trophy last year (121 races of 8 games) followed by a Ranji season below the pair (379 of 8 games) saw him overlook for Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 .

What followed was a period of returning to the drawing board --- adjusting its technique --- and putting more emphasis on fitness. It is very difficult to determine what is working for me this season. I made some technical changes in my batting but there was much more focus on my fitness and that is starting to pay off, Aparajith told TOI.

Aparajith revealed how his schedule worked around cricket and nothing else during the offseason. My preparation for the preseason was to put on the hard yard in the nets and in training. I had never done so many training days before and I had not felt so fit either. It was like going back to school as my schedule was set in such a way that all I did was play and train during the offseason, he said.

More than the number of races he has scored in the last two tournaments, Aparajith is satisfied with the consistency he has shown after playing in 15 List A matches in the last 40 odd days. I am happy to contribute in whatever capacity my team wants me to do, be it batting or bowling, he said.

When asked if he was the best to hit, Aparajith said: I would not like to go too far with respect to my batting, since I feel there are areas to improve. But yes, I am seeing the results of the hard work. put in.