All-rounder Prashant Chopra cost the Royals 20 lakhs in the 2018 IPL auction, and they have purchased a player with an impeccable sense of timing. He was born on October 7th, 1992, and on his 25th birthday in 2017, he scored a superlative triple century for Himachal Pradesh. Prashant was following in the footsteps of Colin Cowdrey who scored a triple century on his 30th birthday in 1962 and Raman Lamba, another batsman who scored a triple century on his birthday, his 35th, in 1995. When Chopra reached the 300 landmark at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala, Harbhajan Singh gave him a standing ovation. The ‘Turbanator’ was sitting in the opposition dressing room and was clearly impressed by the prodigious young talent out in the middle. Prashant eventually got caught and bowled for 338. He had been in for 363 balls and hit 44 fours and two sixes. What a birthday present!

Chopra holds the record for most runs by a Himachal Pradesh batsman in a Ranji Trophy season. Not surprisingly this major batting prospect has been picked for the India Under-23 team and India A. A truly multi-skilled player, Prashant also bowls leg spin and keeps wickets, although he will do well to replace Samson and Buttler behind the Rajasthan sticks! Prashant is the son of cricket coach Shiv Chopra, an NIS qualified coach who trains young wards at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium in Chandigarh. His father’s drills from an early age have clearly had a good effect on the technically gifted youngster. Prashant has the ability to go all the way – and in Royals colours he has the chance to stake a claim for a full Test place. Halla bol!