Chennai: "At the end of the day, cricket is a very simple game," Robin Bist tells Wisden India, with the conviction of a man who truly believes what he's saying. It's a statement he repeats often – while explaining his approach to batting, while speaking about moving from Delhi to Rajasthan, and while talking about the changes to his game after a chat with Sachin Tendulkar.
Bist, a few days shy of his 25h birthday, hasn't always had it easy, but his self-assurance and belief are evident in the way he conducts himself. It's a belief well founded, with last season being particularly fruitful. Bist topped the Ranji Trophy scoring chart as part of Rajasthan's title-winning team with 1034 runs, and in the season-opening Irani Cup, he was Rajasthan's lone bright spot with knocks of 117 not out and 67 in a heavy defeat.
Bist, who moved from Delhi to Rajasthan as a teenager, doesn't pull punches as he discusses the shift. "I moved because of the politics in DDCA (Delhi and District Cricket Association)," says Bist. "There is a lot of club cricket in Delhi, and each club's secretary is a powerful person. They all want their own boys to play. That's why talent alone is not enough to rise to the top in Delhi. Of course, they've had cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma etc, but they’ve all also gone through this. Maybe the ones who spoke up for them were powerful people, the ones who spoke for me were not."