Agni Chopra creates history with four consecutive centuries in debut First-Class matches for Mizoram in the Ranji Trophy. At 25, son of renowned filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Agni looks to continue the family’s success, following his father’s acclaimed movie ’12th Fail.’
Agni has brilliantly scored 166, 92, 164,15,114,10,105, and 101 in his first four Ranji games against teams like Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya respectively. He is the leading run-scorer in this season of this tournament, with 767 runs in eight innings with an average of 95.88 with a strike rate of 111.81. Having played for Mumbai in the Under-19 and Under-23 categories, Agni’s coach, Khuspreet Singh advised him to seek opportunities with another team for essential “playing time” to showcase his skills.
Within the Ranji Trophy structure, the top 32 teams are divided into four groups of the elite league, six other teams, five of which are from the north-east region, feature in the plate league. Agni admitted the difference in bowling quality between the plate and elite leagues but remains determined to guide Mizoram to the plate league final, aiming for promotion to the elite league in the next season.
Agni Chopra said, “ Coming here in Mizoram, everyone has been very welcoming and really included me and there are two more pros — KC bhai (KC Cariappa) and Mohit Jangra. They are inclusive and welcoming and I never felt like an outsider. I have been taught a few Mizo words and phrases and I don’t feel in a vastly different place”.
“People will say what they have to say but, at the end of the day, it’s your performance and there are lot many players who are playing in the same division and not scoring that many runs. The standard is same for everyone. I think I am trying to be in present and my aim is to take Mizoram to Elite division. If we are in Elite division, then there is nothing to think about in terms of quality of bowling and I will play for Mizoram,” he also added.
“My dad told me and my sister when we were younger what his father told him: ‘Agar tumhe sadak par mochi banna hai, apne sadak ka best mochi banna. (If you want to become a cobbler, be the best cobbler in your street). He gave us freedom to do what we wanted but told us to try to be the absolute best. Talent can only take you that far as rest depends on work you do and I saw that in his movies. The amount of work my father and my mother put in their professions, I saw that it rubbed off on me,” Agni ended.