ChapterRanji’s Wonderful Bat

Ranji’s Wonderful Bat is a short story written by Ruskin Bond that discusses the importance of self-confidence. All you need to know and learn about this chapter is given below.

Meet the Author

  • Ruskin Bond is an Anglo Indian writer known for children’s fiction.
  • Born: 19 May 1934
  • Place of Birth: Kasauli, India
  • Famous Works: Room on the Roof, Book of Humor, and The Blue Umbrella.
  • Best Known for: He is known for his lucid writing technique and plot lines. He has written a wide range of children’s fiction including adventure, mystery, horror and humor.
Playing cricket with his favorite bat
Playing cricket with his favorite bat

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Summary of the Chapter

This chapter is taken from Ruskin Bond's book titled Ranji’s Wonderful Bat and Other Stories. It speaks about an enthusiastic boy named Ranji and his love and passion for cricket.

The story begins with an ongoing match. The score was 53 runs for 4 wickets and they required at least 60 runs to make the victory. Ranji’s team was batting and it was his turn to bat. He was last among the good batsmen in his team and had to help the team attain the victory.

Ranji is mentioned to be a boy who had ‘a good eye’ and ‘strong wrists’. He was keen on the ball and he had good grip at the bat. He had already made a lot of runs in the few minor matches he had played. Ranji was only 11 and was the youngest member of the team but he was brave and determined. Unfortunately, in the last two inter school games he had scored less runs, the highest being just 12. Hence he was determined to make a victory in this match.

Ranji was going to face the tall fast bowler in the opposition group. Unfortunately, the ball hit his pad and he was immediately out of the game. The opposite team won the match. Suraj was Ranji's friend and he comforted him.

You will do better next time. You are out of form just now that's all.

Even though his friend was kind enough to him his coach was a strict person, he said,

You will have to make more runs in the next game or you'll use your place in the side!

Ranji did not interact with other players and walked home, putting his hands in his pocket. He was really upset as he really loved the game and he did not want to be out of his school team. On his way home he usually stops by Mr. Kumar's sports shop to make small talk. The shop contained all that was required for any sports lover: cricket balls, badminton rackets, footballs, hockey sticks and balls of various shapes and sizes.

This shop was a ‘wonderland’ for Ranji and he loved spending time there. But he did not feel like spending his time there and thought of walking past the shop. But then Kumar called out his name and asked him to come over. Kumar understood that something was off about Ranji and he inquired about it.

He explained the situation to Mr Kumar. Kumar was always helpful and gave the best piece of advice at all time. He himself was a state player and had scored a century in the match against Tanzania. Even though he's no longer a first-class cricketer he encouraged and motivated young players and believed Ranji to be a good cricketer.

Hence when Ranjit told Kumar that they have lost their match he took it in the right spirit and replied,

Where would we be without losers? There wouldn't be any games without them…

Even though Kumar tried to console Ranji he was inconsolable as he had not done good in the last 3 matches. He was scared whether he would be replaced from the school team.

Kumar again tried to console him by stating that there will be good and bad days for any player and it was something that no one had control over. But Ranji had convinced himself that he was ‘unlucky’ and he did not have it in him to become a good cricketer. So Kumar tries to explain to Ranji that luck changes as time passes. He promised him that he can do something to fix his luck.

Kumar took Ranji to another part of the shop which was partitioned by a curtain. It was a badly lit room with all kinds of second hand sporting goods. Kumar examined a lot of bats and finally picked one and said to Ranji that that was his luckiest bat from his old days. He told Ranjit that this was the bat that made him hit a century in his game.

Kumar agreed to lend out this lucky bat to Ranji for the rest of the cricket season and he promised him that you can never fail with this particular bad. Ranji was amazed and was delighted to see the bat. Ranji was excited and wanted to confirm whether it was the same bat that helped him gain a century in his match. Kumar acknowledged it and gave the bat to Ranji so that he can play the rest of the matches with this lucky bat.

Young player Looking at his bat with confidence
Young player Looking at his bat with confidence

Ranji was nervous throughout the week thinking about the match on Saturday. His school team was going to face another strong team from the town. Since we had a lot of class work that week he could not practice with other boys. Since he did not have any siblings he asked Koki, the girl next door to bowl in the garden. Ranji tried to get used to the bat during the sessions with her.

On Saturday Suraj, his friend and the captain, won the toss and chose batting first. The opening batsman was able to score 30 runs until the spin bowlers came on board and changed the game. 2 wickets fell with just 33 runs. By the time the score was 46 runs with 4 wickets. It was now the time for Ranji to bat.

Ranji walked slowly to the wicket and prepared for his first ball. As the ball came towards him he felt a ‘thrill on his arm’ and hit the ball firmly. He hit a four in his first ball. The bowler was annoyed to see the victory. Ranji scored a four again. Ranji then played all the strokes he knew of: left cuts, square cuts, straight drives on rise and off drives. The opposite captain tried all his bowlers; the fast and the spin but none of them could win over Ranji.

Ranji stood not out with 58 runs and his school won the match. On the way home he stopped at Kumar’s shop to inform him of the good news. He then stopped at that Jamuna sweet shop and got two laddoos for Koki. She liked cricket but enjoyed laddoos better.

The game that followed in the coming days was a two-day match. He was made batman number three and he took 45 runs in the next match. He was also able to take a lot of boundaries and in the second innings the school team needed only 60 runs for victory. Everyone was happy with Ranji’s performance including his coach, captain Suraj and Mr Kumar. But Ranji did not share the secret behind his victories with anyone else.

One evening there was an informal game on the maidan. During the match his friend Bhim slipped while running after the bowl and got a sharp cut. Ranji had to take him to the hospital and he was late to get home. When he returned home Koki asked him about his bat. He replied,

Oh, I must have left it on the maidan when Bhim got hurt. I’d better go and get it now or it will disappear.

He was worried whether he was about to lose his lucky bat. But there was no sign of the bat in the maidan or at the clock tower from where he got the bus home.

That Saturday school had a serious game to play against a visiting team from Delhi. Next day he went to meet Mr. Kumar's feeling sorry for the loss. He informed him that he had misplaced his lucky bat and that he had a match at school the day after.

The day after tomorrow, we are playing the Delhi school, and I’ll be out for a duck, and we’ll lose our chance of being the school champions.

Mr Kumar first looked anxious but then smiled and replied to him. He told him that he can now win any number of matches. Ranji was confused when he heard his response. Kumar went on to tell him that the old bat he had handed over was no special bat. It was like any other bat but it was true that he had won a lot of runs with it. Kumar told Ranji that he was lacking confidence and not a lucky bat. Once one starts to believe and improve their confidence they automatically tend to get back into form.

True I made lots of runs with it but I made runs with other bats too. I never depended on a special date for my runs. A bat has magic only when the batsman has magic! What you needed was confidence, not a bat. And by believing in the bat you got back your confidence.

Kumar only wanted Ranji to remember that he has got the confidence and talent within him when he approached the next match.

On Saturday Ranji borrowed a bat from Bhim. The first ball from the Delhi team was very fast but he was able to touch a boundary. He won a six in his very first ball. He finished the match with 75 runs and he left home with a dozen laddoos for Koki and 10 laddoos for Mr Kumar.

The moral of the story:

It is one’s confidence that helps one succeed in life. Only when one believes in themselves can they achieve and overcome their challenges and move ahead. Mr Kumar was just an instrument in boosting up Ranji's confidence in himself. It was not the bat that had the magic, it was the confidence and determination in Ranji that helped him score well.

Above and Beyond the Text

Did you enjoy the story of Ranji? If you are interested and keen on sports and players then you must check out these books. Even if you are not an ardent reader, you will find these tales of success and sportsman spirit to be appealing and energizing.

Playing It My Way

This is the book by the Indian Legend, Sachin Tendulkar. Get to know his story in detail with his engaging book. He has inspired millions of people.

Unbreakable: An Autobiography

Mary Kom is India’s top-notch Boxer and Olympic medal winner. Her life and struggles inspire all young minds.

The Test Of My Life

Yuvraj Sigh is a talented cricketer and a cancer survivor. His dedication to work and his zeal for life are something to take inspiration from.

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Ranji’s Wonderful Bat Questions and Answers

Below are a few questions that you can look out for your examinations and class tests. Stand out with perfectly written answers with help of Aneetta Class.

Ranji was ducked in his match. Hence, he was upset and sad. He did not want to talk to anyone after this failure and believed he had bad luck. Therefore, he did not want to stop by the sport’s shop.

He is a true sportsman. He understands the failures and success as he has seen both in his own life. He is extremely encouraging and helpful towards budding sports players. He has a true passion for sports, it is the reason behind his shop as well. He helped Ranji get back his confidence.

No, it is his self-confidence that helped him score well. Mr Kumar was just an instrument in boosting up Ranji's confidence in himself. It was not the bat that had the magic, it was the confidence and determination in Ranji that helped him score well.