Abhimanyu Easwaran, captain of the Bengal domestic cricket team, has attributed his success in the Indian domestic scene to India's legendary trio - Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
The 24-year-old Easwaran has played 53 first-class matches, mostly for Bengal, scoring just over 4,000 runs at an average of 48.91 and 57 List A matches for 2,656 runs at 49.18. His short T20 career has seen him make just 19 appearances but he has already racked up a century in the format and boasts a healthy average of 33.64 and a strike rate of 131.19.
Over the last two Ranji Trophy seasons, he has amassed 1,425 runs at an astonishing average of 67.85, ballooning his career average from 42 and inching it towards 50. It's why he has gone on to play for India A.
Last season he was the top run-getter for his side in the Ranji Trophy, eclipsing former India player Manoj Tiwary's tally by a comfortable margin and in fewer matches, scoring at a Bradman-esque average of 95.66, doubling it from the previous campaign.
He carried that form against Sri Lanka A, against whom he scored his career-best 233 at Belgaum and led India A to a massive innings victory in May this year.
Ensuring putting up big scores helped his cause, and that came about after a chat with his idol Rahul Dravid, whom he met last year.
"He helped me realise that I did not need to think of a 100 when I have got my 50," Easwaran told SportsAdda.com. "He advised me to think about what to do in the current situation. It is a small thing but it made a big difference."
"VVS Laxman being there as a mentor also helped," he added.
Playing for Bengal also meant that he came under the watchful eye of the then CAB president Sourav Ganguly, now appointed the BCCI president, who ensured that the players got adequate support.
"Ganguly, being a former player himself, understands situations that we go through and he has promised that he will look after domestic cricketers, which is a great sign for us, but I don't worry myself with national selections," Easwaran explained.
While the India call-up may be difficult, he can look forward to taking the step up to the Indian Premier League next, the auctions for which are slated next month.
"My mother is a big Shah Rukh Khan fan so I'm sure she will be happy if I am picked by Kolkata Knight Riders, though I do not have any such preferences," Easwaran laughed.