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Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s son Agni Chopra scores centuries in first four Ranji Trophy games

Agni Chopra has become the first batter to smash centuries in his first four first-class games (since ESPNcricinfo has data) after making his debut for Mizoram in the Ranji Trophy Plate League earlier this month. Agni, 25, is the son of film critic Anupama Chopra and filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who recently made the popular movie 12th Fail.

The junior Chopra has racked up scores of 105, 101, 114, 10, 164, 15, 166 and 92 in his first four Ranji games to average a whopping 95.87, that too with a strike rate of 111.80. He represented Mumbai Under-19 and Under-23 and he was suggested by his coach Khuspreet Singh to play for another team where he would “get playing time” to showcase his skills because of the tough competition in the Mumbai circuit.

“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,” he told PTI. “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.”

Agni admits that moving from Mumbai to Mizoram in the domestic circuit would not have been a lateral move and the bowling attacks in the Plate League would not be the same. While the top 32 teams in the domestic circuit play in four groups of the Elite League, six other teams, five of which are from the north-east region, feature in the Plate League.

He says his current aim is to help Mizoram qualify for the Plate League final, which will promote them to the Elite League next season.

“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.”

Agni had decided not to follow in the footsteps of his father, who has been directing and writing Hindi movies for over 30 years and has delivered a number of hits like 3 Idiots, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S and its sequel Lage Rao Munnabhai.

“So I have been asked this question from childhood that will you go into movies but I never thought I would ever be in movies,” he said. “I never thought that, ‘oh, I should get in because my dad makes movies and it will be an easy avenue for me’.

“I was never interested in movies. I mean I love watching movies and have a great time but it was never my passion.”

Agni says the career advice his father instead gave him was to pick anything and strive to be the best in it.

“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.”

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