Anukul Sudhakar Roy was born in Birha, a small village in Bihar, on November 30, 1998. With the ball, the all-rounder is a sluggish left-arm orthodox bowler who comes in late in an innings to get some fast runs for his team.
Bihar’s players were unable to compete in the Ranji Trophy because they had not played in the competition in 18 years. Roy, like his friend Ishan Kishan, however, relocated to Jharkhand in order to fulfil his dream of playing in the Ranji Trophy.
He had previously represented Jharkhand Under-19s before being picked for the Indian team after catching Rahul Dravid’s eye. During England’s tour of India in February 2017, he made his debut for the U19 side.
He bowled seven overs for 34 runs and three wickets in the process. He then went on to take another 3-wicket haul as India went on to win the five-match series 3-1. Roy was called up to the U-19 side at the last minute after missing the U19 Challenger Trophy and U-19 Asia Cup in 2017 due to an ankle injury.
However, Rahul Dravid’s confidence in him secured him a spot in the final travelling team, as he was immediately included after finishing his rehab. In the first match of the season, Roy took the wicket of Jack Edwards in the opening match against Australia. After that, he hit his first international fifer as India thrashed Papua New Guinea by 10 wickets with 252 balls to spare. With an economy of 2.80, he took 4 wickets against Zimbabwe in the third match and a single wicket against Bangladesh in the fourth match. Roy then scored 33 and took a wicket against Pakistan to help India win the match and advance to the finals.
Roy took the vital wickets of Jonathan Merlo and Param Uppal (34), the top run-getters for Australia in the tournament, in the final on February 3rd. For the fourth time in history, India won the prestigious trophy in this match.
With the euphoria of the U19 World Cup victory still fresh in his memory, it was only logical that Anukul will be chosen for the IPL. He was auctioned off in the 2018 Mega IPL auction and was purchased by Mumbai Indians for Rs 20 lakh. Anukul had to wait his turn because Krunal Pandya was the team’s senior left-arm spinner, but he did make his IPL debut in 2019 and picked up one wicket in his only game. A far more seasoned Roy is expected to get a few chances in the 2020 season.
Anukul began playing cricket in tennis-ball competitions in Samastipur before relocating to Jamshedpur in search of better cricket opportunities. The 19-year-old is a dynamic lower-order batsman with a strong throwing arm, as well as a specialist bowler, close to Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.