Interview: Cricketer Prashant Chopra

Cricketer Prashant Chopra

Interview with Cricketer Prashant Chopra

Cricketer Prashant Chopra was in the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup champion India Team. Chopra represents Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy and holds the record of most runs by a Himachal Pradesh batsman in a Ranji Trophy season.

Prashant Chopra (born 7 October 1992) is an Indian cricketer. He was in the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup champion India Team.

Chopra represents Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy and holds the record of most runs by a Himachal Pradesh batsman in a Ranji Trophy season.

In October 2017 in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy, he made 271 not out on the opening day in the fixture between Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

This was the second-most runs scored in one day in the Ranji Trophy and the joint-highest score made by a player for Himachal Pradesh.

Chopra went on to make 338, the tenth-highest total by a batsman in the Ranji Trophy and the first triple-century by a batsman for Himachal Pradesh.

He was the leading run-scorer for Himachal Pradesh in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy, with 581 runs in five matches.

In January 2018, he was bought by the Rajasthan Royals in the 2018 IPL auction. In July 2018, he was named in the squad for India Green for the 2018–19 Duleep Trophy.

He was the leading run-scorer for Himachal Pradesh in the 2018–19 Vijay Hazare Trophy with 420 runs in 8 matches and 7 innings. Average is 60.

In October 2018, he was named in India B’s squad for the 2018–19 Deodhar Trophy. The following month, he scored his 3,000th run in first-class cricket, batting for Himachal Pradesh against Bengal in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy.

In April 2019 he was named in india A squad to play against sri lanka A in 5 ODI. Where he  scored 130 runs in the first opportunity which he got in the 3rd game.

Further considering this performance was picked for india A again in August to play against south africa A in 2 ODI matches.

Stats from recent Ranji season 2022-23 

7 matches, 11 innings , 783 Runs , average 87 

Achievements of Prashant Chopra: 

  • Highest ever score in a single season for Himachal ranji team season 2016-2017 total 982 runs. 
  • Highest individual score ever  for Himachal in ranji trophy – 338 Season 2017-2018. 
  • In the vijay hazare trophy 2021-22 season. 
  • Himachal pradesh emerged as winners for the first time in the history. 
  • Performance : 8 matches , 8 innings, 457 runs
  • Average- 57 . Was the 3rd highest run getter of the entire tournament.

Prashant, can you take us back to the beginning of your cricket journey? What inspired you to take up the sport?

Prashant Chopra: I started playing cricket at a very young age of 6-7. My father Mr Shiv chopra was a cricket coach with the Sports authority of India ( SAI ) and was posted in Solan district of Himachal.

There I started going with him to thodo ground where he used to train his students. Like every young kid I loved playing this game that’s how my journey for cricket started. If you talk about inspiration I would say my parents were the one. 

As a cricketer, what are some of the key lessons you have learned throughout your career?

Prashant Chopra: As a cricketer I have learned a lot of lessons but the most important and the toughest one is to stay calm and neutral in success and failure. You need to respect this game. 

You have represented Himachal Pradesh in domestic cricket. How has the experience been playing for your state team?

Prashant Chopra: It’s been an absolute honour to represent my state Himachal pradesh. Today people know about me because I got the opportunity to play for HPCA.

My journey with HPCA started from the U-15 in the year 2007-8. They backed me through my tough times also. 

Can you share with us a standout moment or achievement in your cricket career that you are particularly proud of?

Prashant Chopra: There have been a few moments which I’m very proud and grateful of. But there are 2 special achievements which are very close to me.

1st is when I scored 338 runs in ranji trophy in a single innings vs punjab. It was my birthday that day so a gift to myself felt very special.

And 2nd is the day 26th December 2021 when we won the Vijay hazare trophy for the first time The history I made my Vijay Hazare debut for Himachal back in 2010 so it took me 10 seasons to hold that trophy in my hand. It’s very special for me.

As an opening batsman, what mindset and preparation do you bring to the crease? How do you approach your role in setting the foundation for the team’s innings?

Prashant Chopra: As an opener I just give myself time whenever I go out there to bat. Initially the ball does move a bit if we talk about the test matches specifically.

So it’s more about just controlling yourself initially even on the days when you are seeing the ball really good while batting because you tend to lose focus and just play a rash shot.

For my team I am the most experienced batter and I need to be there to score runs for them. So I just take up that responsibility as I understand the importance of me being out there in the middle and scoring runs when I’m set. 

What are some of the challenges you face as a cricketer, and how do you overcome them?

Prashant Chopra: There are many challenges I would say. But most important is when you go through a very rough phase in your career.

That time you need to be really patient. You tend to start doubting yourself and your technique for no reason as there is advice and opinions coming from many people. Mentally you just need to give yourself that break and just acknowledge the fact that this will happen. 

How do you maintain your fitness and mental focus in order to perform consistently on the field?

Prashant Chopra: Fitness I would say is usually because of my training when I am back home and even during the season with our team trainer Mr Rajneesh mehta.

You need to put in those hard yards when you are preparing for the season. And mentally I would say when you know you have prepared well you are not thinking too much and you are not scared of what’s going to happen you just stay calm whenever you go out to play the match.

Obviously there will be nerves but that’s more of a good nerves rather than tensed nerves which would hamper your performance as you would not be able to move freely while you are batting. So I would say it’s more of the hard work put in before the season begins in both scenarios.

Is there a specific cricketer who has had a significant influence on your game? If so, who is it and how have they impacted your approach to the sport?

Prashant Chopra: I have always idolised sachin sir. I always tried to copy his style of batting as a young kid. 

Apart from cricket, are there any other hobbies or interests that you pursue outside of the game? How do they contribute to your overall well-being and growth as an individual?

Prashant Chopra: I love music. I also like to sing a bit. I learned the inside things about singing and music during the covid times. Listening to music and singing gives me a completely different feel. It keeps me in a very good mental shape and relaxed atmosphere.

How do you handle the pressure and expectations that come with being a professional cricketer? Are there any strategies you employ to stay focused and perform under challenging circumstances?

Prashant Chopra: Pressure is more of a self created thing. It is mostly created when you focus on the outcome rather than focusing on the process.

Everyone experiences this kind of pressure at some point in their career, even i have experienced the same but my way of coping with this is that I divert my mind from the result to the process. 

What advice would you give to young and aspiring cricketers who are looking to make a mark in the sport?

Prashant Chopra: The only advice I would like to give is to be honest towards the game and keep working hard day in and day out.

There will be days when you will perform and there will be days when you won’t perform but whatever the outcome is you need to respect it and analyze your mistakes and make sure that the same mistake doesn’t happen the next time you play.

You scored 5 centuries in Ranji 2022-2023. How would you define the feeling of this accomplishment?

Prashant Chopra: It was an amazing feeling to score 5 centuries in a single season. When the season started, as an opener I was hoping to do well because I had worked very hard and was preparing well in the pre Ranji season camp held in Dharamshala with our coach Mr.Rajiv Raja and Mr. Anuj Pal Das. But this kind of performance was never on my mind as I had just recovered after a knee surgery.

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