Kings XI opener Paul Valthaty – the find of this season’s IPL – will return to Mumbai intent on proving a point in the city of his birth against the high-flying Mumbai Indians.
Shunned by his local franchise, Valthaty was snapped up by Punjab and has rewarded their faith with the return of 268 runs at an average of 53.60 in his six innings this year.
The 27-year old has battled in the past to break into Mumbai’s first-class set-up, and another impressive performance on his ‘home turf’ would go some way to convincing his doubters that he is capable of much more.
Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy captain Wasim Jaffer is yet to be totally sold by the ‘talented’ Valthaty, who he believes is still too inconsistent to make an impact at first-class level, though he has been impressed by Valthaty’s shorter displays of late.
“This performance will help him. He has made those runs against quality bowling and I’m sure the selectors will keep that in mind.
“However, you can’t judge someone for first class cricket based on performance in T20 games. It’s a different format. He has to do well in tournaments like the Times Shield and prove himself,” Jaffer told TOI on Saturday.
The 33-year old Jaffer has seen Valthaty progress through the years at Mumbai, and a lack of consistency has been his downfall. The question therefore is whether the Kings XI star can finally begin to fulfill his potential on the back of his latest IPL chance.
Jaffer added: “He was a good cricketer at the under-19 level. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury and then had a few lean years, where he was in and out of the Mumbai teams. The IPL gives an unknown player the chance and Valthaty capitalized on the opportunity. I am really happy for him.”
“He plays T20 and one-dayers for Mumbai. He has always played the odd remarkable innings in Times Shield ( Air India), and then would have a lean run. He was very inconsistent. However, with age people do mature and he has become better.” Cricket365