By Jonty Ralphsmith
Fountain Gate century maker Karan Singh has revealed a change in mindset was behind his terrific knock on the weekend.
The Dandenong District Cricket Association (DDCA) opening batter played an important anchor role for the Gators in Turf 3 on Saturday.
Opening the batting for the first time this season, and following a week out of the side due to unavailability, there was pressure on Singh, particularly given Hampton Park put on 191 against the Gators on a traditionally unpredictable Booth Reserve wicket.
But he manipulated the field well and fed the strike to aggressor Hasindu Waduge late on day one, finishing unbeaten on 69 and having his side within touching distance of the Redbacks’ score.
“Ted has brought a refreshing mindset of going out there and batting how you want to bat and don’t have that fear of failure,” Singh said.
“Even if I fail, he backs me in.
“I think that was a big thing that helped me.”
“Ted told me at the start of the season that in the two-dayers, people around you will go hard, that’s what they’ve been doing for four years, but he needed me to play my game.”
That shift has allowed Singh’s tempo to naturally lift this season but he is naturally better suited to the longer format.
Fountain Gate upped the ante on day two, seeking quick runs to declare and pursue an outright, but Singh continued to play the supporting role around middle-order fireworks at the other end.
It was the first 100 of Singh’s senior career, coming the year after the emerging batter relinquished the captaincy to Chalaka ‘Ted’ Sampath.
“It was a whole release of pressure, not only from this season but the past five or six years,” Singh said.
“I’ve been looking forward to seniors my whole life.
“I just thought it would be the same, but it’s a lot harder, and I put a lot more pressure on myself to get there and that’s why I have struggled a little bit in the last couple of years.
I’ve blamed myself for stuff we haven’t been doing right as a team.
“I never really understood what captaincy takes out of you until I did it.
“Captaining in a one-day comp where the game was moving quickly was tough.
“Even not ‘keeping anymore has made me fresher which really does help.
“I’ve got one job to focus on all week rather than worrying about captaincy, ‘keeping, who is going to bowl.
“I am looking to score a lot more now which comes from not having the fear of getting out and playing much freer.”
Singh’s 116 gave Fountain Gate a sizeable first innings lead which laid the foundations for a second consecutive outright win to consolidate its position on top of the ladder ahead of a clash with heavyweights Coomoora.