“It’s all about your routine” – Sachin Baby recalls best advice he received from VVS Laxman during his stint with SRH [Exclusive]
Sachin Baby made his IPL debut for Rajasthan Royals during the 2013 edition of the league. He then went on to represent the Royal Challengers Bangalore across a couple of stints. During his first stint with the Bangalore-based franchise, he played 11 matches in the season.
Sachin Baby was also part of the SRH squad during IPL 2018. In the second part of the interview, the 33-year-old talks about his time with RCB and a few players he admires.
FirstSportz caught up with Sachin Baby for an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts from Sachin Baby’s interview:
Excerpts from Sachin Baby’s interview
Q. You have represented RCB in the IPL and have shared the dressing room with the likes of Virat Kohli, ABD and many more. Can you just share one unknown incident or lesser-known incident to the public related to Virat Kohli or ABD in specific?
One thing that happened in 2016, when Virat scored four centuries in that season, was the game against KKR. We were in Eden Gardens, we were fielding first, while fielding he got stitches on his hand, again he came back and batted and scored a hundred. After the game, we had a gym session at 11 am. I went to the gym at 11 am and he was already there in the gym, that shows his commitment to the game, his character because, even I was thinking if I were in his position, got 5 stitches in my hand, I would probably take a break for the next day. But he didn’t stop himself, he just pushed, even that injury didn’t stop him, he just kept on doing whatever routine he was following for the last 2 or 3 months for the IPL. So it was a learning for me that ‘nothing should stop a routine.
Q. As I said, you have played with Virat Kohli, ABD, many known players in the country and across the border as well, Foreign countries as well. You have had several mentors and coaches over the last few years. Can you just share one piece of advice that is really close to your heart and that you will never forget and something that changed you as a player or a person?
The best advice I got was from VVS Laxman sir when I was with SRH. After the game, he called me and we had a 20 mins chat. He said, ‘It’s all about your routine.’ What he said was that there are two parallel roads, one is our game, and the other one is practice. Whatever happens in the game you should not take a break from the other road (Practice) because that is the road that will help you perform in the game. So the same thing I was talking about is Virat also, whether he scored a hundred or a zero he didn’t stop his routine, He said in a very clear way, even I am sure all the elite cricketers will follow all these things. They will stay in a neutral way, whether we perform or not perform, they will continue doing their routine. When we perform, we go to a high grade and if we don’t perform we would go very low, so it won’t help as a cricketer. So we should be very neutral. If we perform or not we should always be very neutral. So that was the best advice I got from Laxman.
Q. You scored your first first-class century against Hyderabad, an unbeaten 200. So I am sure that must be very close to your heart but is there any other thing or any other performance that is very close to your heart?
As a batsman, every knock is important but yeah, as you said, the first was always special. And I still think that was my best innings, the team was not in a very good position at that time and it took 25 matches to score my first hundred. I was scoring 90s and four times I had got out in the 90s before that. And the 25th was a live game and everybody could see it, so it was special. The best thing was I converted it into a big hundred scoring an unbeaten double hundred. So it was very memorable for me.
Q. You have played with many players, you have come across many players over the last few years since you made your debut in 2009, so is there anyone such player with whom you would want to spend more time and understand and like to get batting or captaincy tips from him?
I only wish to because I am a left-hander. So if I go talk to a right-hander about batting, it won’t help. So as a left-hander I really wish to get to know Suresh Raina very well because he is my idol and I love his batting, I love his stance, I love his fielding. Even when I met him, I told him all these things. He also helped me with my batting, so I used to ask him all the things and he used to help me and yeah, he is the one.
Q. Do you admire any player for captaincy?
Yes, I have read the book of Ricky Ponting on what he has done as a captain. I have done it in my career also. I learn so much from Virat also, his aggression, all these things, whatever he does on the field. Ricky Ponting, I didn’t know very closely but I know Virat, whatever he did, whatever time he gave for the team, whatever he wanted the team to achieve, so I learnt a lot from him also.
Q. As you know apart from cricket it is necessary to give time for yourself, your family and all. When you are not playing cricket, what exactly do you do to keep yourself occupied, how do you enjoy yourself and spend your time?
Normally I am not an outgoing person. Out of 365 days, 250 days I would be out playing cricket. So whenever I come back home I stay at home mostly. Now I have a child, so I mostly spend time with him and my wife and my family, father, mother, I used to go to father & mother. They live like two hours away, so I will spend time with them also. In these 2 months, there is no cricket and I am not part of any IPL team. I think it’s an off time for me. I will get some time out of cricket and explore some places, so that’s the plan.
Q. So do you like travelling more or sitting at home and watching movies and reading books. Which one do you prefer?
During Cricket season, I get free time for one week, so I don’t like to travel at that time because if I travel, it would take 2-3 days out and I can’t spend time with my family, so I will mostly be sitting at home watching or spending time with my kid. When I get a month or two months break at that time I like to travel because you know Kerala is a beautiful place, you can go and sit quietly, get some fresh air, get rid of all these things, be quiet and sit.
Note: Sachin Baby is exclusively represented by FairPlay Sports, a sports marketing agency with offices in Delhi, Noida, Bangalore, Baroda, Chennai and Jamshedpur.