Before last year’s edition of the IPL, Paul Valthaty, was just like any other person in the world, until, on the 13th of April 2011, when he played the innings of his life for the King’s XI Punjab.
Valthaty, entertained the crowd, as he smashed an outstanding 120 off 63 balls, which included 19 boundaries and two massive sixes, to lead his team to a six wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings.
With the sparkling innings he produced, Valthaty became an overnight sensation amongst the cricketing community.
“Last year’s IPL changed my whole life. Suddenly, I became a household name and people wanted to know everything about my personal life. It was a crazy period but I think I handled it quite well” Valthaty said.
Valthaty, continued to impress from that moment on, and once the people caught wind of him coming to play against their side, tickets were sold out almost instantly.
But, Valthaty, stated that he was able to be so entertaining and successful throughout last year’s IPL, due to former Australian wicketkeeper and King’s XI Punjab Captain, Adam Gilchrist.
“I owe a lot of my IPL glory to skipper Adam. Opening the batting with Adam has been one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. He is very supportive while at the crease and keeps helping me out by offering tips on different aspects like my strokeplay or a bowler’s line and length or the field placements etc. He’s a total team man and a great leader. His commitment to the team can be judged from the fact that though we begin training here only tomorrow, he’s already landed here over four days back” Valthaty said.
However, Valthaty, knows that team victories are more important than an individual playing for himself, and said: “Last year we missed making it to the play-offs by just one match. Had we won the match against Deccan Chargers, we would have been through to the knockout stage and from there it’s anyone’s game. So, this time round, our priority will be to make that play-offs stage. I’m working hard on my bowling too with (newly-appointed India bowling coach) Joe Dawes. I’m trying to work out some good variations which is a must in the T20 format.”
He is also hoping to see King’s XI Punjab do better in this year’s tournament, which starts next week, but, stated that he has no intentions of changing his style of batting.
“There are bigger hitters than me in the IPL, but I realise that the pressure will definitely be on me since I’ve done well last year, and I’m ready for it. I won’t change the way I play and will approach my batting in the same fashion – strokes and all – and hope to have the same results” he added.