Meet Abhijeet Tomar - An opening batter waiting in the wings
Who is Abhijeet Tomar?
A right-handed opening batter from Jaipur, Tomar plies his trade for Rajasthan in the domestic circuit. Languid and easy on the eyes with his shots, the 27-year-old made waves by top-scoring for Rajasthan in the Vijay Hazare trophy, India’s domestic List A tournament last year, hitting 333 runs at an average of 66.60. He idolises David Warner, the Australian opening battter, and wishes to emulate him as a successful all-format opener without tinkering his technique too much.
All Tomar has known since the age of eight is cricket. His father spotted his talent early and enrolled him into a cricket academy soon after and let him focus on the sport with the condition that he had to get at least passing marks in his exams.
Hailing from a family of lawyers, his father is a retired judge, and alongside his brother, Tomar is currently pursuing a law degree.
Domestic cricket and setbacks
While he made his Rajasthan debut in the 2018-19 season, he couldn’t play for too long owing to injuries and Covid-19 suspending domestic cricket in the state and the country.
On his comeback trail, he worked with his mentor Dishant Yagnik, former Rajasthan captain and current Rajasthan Royals fielding coach, in order to sharpen his technique and advance his skills. It was during the same time Tomar turned his attention to pursue a law degree during the injury-enforced and pandemic-induced break.
In last season’s Vijay Hazare trophy, he hit an unbeaten 104 against a Punjab bowling attack that had Siddharth Kaul, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar and Mayank Markande in its ranks. Tomar followed it up with a 92 against Goa in his side’s 84-run win and later scored a 58 against Services in a losing cause to finish as Rajasthan’s leading run-scorer in the competition.
But Tomar’s state side didn’t deem him good enough to be a T20 player and was forced to miss the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, India’s key domestic T20 tournament and also where potential IPL players are scouted.
IPL Trials and auction
On the back of a promising one-day season, he was invited for trials by the Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians. After scoring an unbeaten 70 not out in a trial T20 game for the Royals, KKR asked him to play a variety of roles which involved executing tasks opening the batting and in the middle-order.
Come 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.
According to his coach, Chandan Choudhary, Director of GR cricket academy in Jaipur, Tomar has had to be patient and bide his time although he added that if no franchise had picked him in the auction, he may have given up the sport altogether to become a lawyer.