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Southland batsman Harsh Visavidiya has thrust his name in front of the Otago Volts selectors in startling fashion with two sublime innings.

Visavidiya piqued the Otago selectors interest last month playing for a Districts XI against Otago A.

As a result, they were keen for a further look at Visavidiya in the Otago A setup when they played a two-day fixture against Canterbury Country in Rangiora on Saturday and Sunday followed by a one-day game against Canterbury A at the same venue on Monday.

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Visavidiya scored 13 in the first innings on Saturday before the next day racking up 92 from 86 balls as Otago A got through to 163-3 before declaring.

The Southland Hawke Cup representative then went back-to-back in regard to impressive innings when he crunched 120 in the one-day fixture against Canterbury A on Monday.

Visavidiya’s 120 came from 123 balls and included nine fours and three sixes.

He played the lead role in getting Otago A through to 285-5 from their 50 overs batting first.

Otago A is made up of players under the Otago Volts first-class team.

Otago A coach Adam Miles said it had been a great couple of days for Visavidiya and they were encouraged with what they had seen.

Visavidiya highlighted he was a free-flowing batsman but wasn’t rash in his shot selection, Miles said.

So could Visavidiya be a potential option for the Volts in the future?

“Absolutely. Anyone who can deliver at this level will certainly be looked at,” Miles said.

Visavidiya arrived in Invercargill from India in 2015 to study at the Southern Institute of Technology on a John Wright Scholarship.

He made an immediate impact in club cricket racking up five centuries in a short space of time.

Harsh Visavidiya moved from India to Invercargill earlier this year after he picked up a John Wright Scholarship to study at the Southern Institute of Technology. He has made an immediate impact in club cricket and has now been selected in the Southland Hawke Cup team to play their first competition game against North Otago in Oamaru this weekend.

He is likely to bat at No 3 in the order and will also play a role with the ball through his leg-spinners. While Visavidiya’s focus is on helping Southland at the moment his goals in New Zealand extend beyond Hawke Cup level.

The Southland Times quizzed the new Indian recruit on his background and how he ended up playing up in Southland.

Where in India are you from?

I belong to Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India.

How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?

I wanted to build my interest in sports and develop it further, so I decided to come to the Southern Institute of Technology. I had enough practical knowledge in the game of cricket but I wanted to build my knowledge in a varity of sports as well, which would make me grow as a person in my sport of cricket.

What are you studying at the Southern Institute of Technology?

I am studying ‘Diploma in Sports and Recreation’.

Tell us about how you got started playing cricket in India and how long you have been playing for?

I started at the age of 15. Coming from the family of sport lovers and players, I was inspired to play cricket at a young age because of my father. My father was already a successful Ranji Trophy player in India, I was inspired to grow up into an another one.  I have the same dream of playing cricket and my passion for the game is the same as my father as well.

It has been 12 years since I have been into playing cricket.

What was the highest level you played at in India?

I have played at State Level in India. I have played in the All India University Tournament and a first class practice selection match before I came to Southland, New Zealand.

Have you played with or against any cricket stars in India?

Yes I have played with the star players of India, such as Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Parthiv Patel, Siddharth Trivedi, Amit Singh, Akshar Patel, Harshal Patel, Rakesh Dhruv and VenuGopal Rao.

Young Indian cricketers are known for training a lot; tell us how much you would train each week back in India?

Six days a week, 40 to 50 hours a week.

How have you enjoyed Southland so far?

I have been enjoying Southland, it is a new place and new experiences.

Facing new challenges each day and learning from the practice and other co-players, as well as coaches, has helped me a lot to achieve my goals.

What are the big differences from playing cricket in India compared to Southland?

Whether conditions. Due to the uncertain whether conditions, we face trouble having outdoor practices here in Southland.

You have already scored two centuries while playing in Southland, how many centuries have you scored all up playing cricket?

Ten in all.

What are you hoping to achieve while playing cricket here in Southland?

I want to achieve my goals step by step with short term goals only. I am playing at the Hawke Cup level now, and I want to play first class cricket for the Otago Volts.