Eager to bowl to KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Glenn Maxwell at KXIP nets
- Updated: May 15, 2020
19-year-old Indian cricketer Ravi Bishnoi is keeping his fingers crossed that the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played soon.
Amid the lockdown, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ravi is practicing on the roof of his house in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He stands in one corner of the roof and bowls to the other. That’s how he is practicing and preparing for the cash-rich league.
“I practice on my roof because I can’t go out. I am taking all precautions. I practice on the roof of my house. It helps me in keeping my arms fit. I am praying this pandemic ends as soon as possible and life goes back to normal for everyone. I want my country to recover from this disaster. IPL should also start soon. I am eager to go out in the middle and perform for my team. With my bowling, I want to win matches for Kings XI Punjab,” Bishnoi told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
The 19-year-old was picked by the Punjab outfit for Rs. 2 crore (his base price was Rs. 20 lakh) in the last player auction in December 2019.
Less than a month later, Bishnoi began showing the world just why the Kings XI had gone after him in an aggressive manner at the auction and bought him for 10 times his base price. The leg-spinner was one of the stand out players at the 2020 edition of the ICC U-19 World Cup in South Africa. He finished the tournament as the highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets and played a pivotal role in helping India reach the final.
Now Bishnoi is anxiously waiting to meet his idol Anil Kumble who is the head coach and Director of Cricket Operations for Kings XI Punjab.
“I am really thankful to KXIP for picking me for this season. This will be a good opportunity to meet my idol Anil Kumble sir. I have a lot of questions in my diary that I will be asking him and I want to use all his tips and guidance in my career,” Bishnoi told TimesofIndia.com.
“I have seen his (Kumble’s) bowling videos and read a lot about him. I want to learn the art of bowling the flipper from Kumble sir. Whenever I meet him, the first thing I will ask him will be – ‘sir, how did you bowl six different deliveries in an over?’. He has an amazing temperament and skills. The way he used to bowl in pressure situations and the way he handled that pressure was really mind blowing. That’s why he is a legend. How can one judge a batsman going by his body language? These are the questions I want to ask him,” Bishnoi said.
Bishnoi, who while taking 17 wickets in six matches at the 2020 ICC Under-19 World Cup maintained an astonishing economy rate of 3.48, also wants to showcase his bowling skills to the KXIP batting stalwarts at the net sessions.
“I am really eager to bowl to KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Glenn Maxwell at the nets. They are world-class batsmen and I would love to bowl to them during practice sessions. I will try to use all my skills in the nets,” the youngster said.
“KXIP have a number of stars. Anil sir is there, KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Glenn Maxwell are there. I haven’t met anyone yet, but I am eager to meet everyone and don the KXIP jersey,” an excited Bishnoi said.
“The U-19 World Cup taught me a lot. The big takeaway from the World Cup was how to keep calm and cool in crunch situations. The tournament also gave me a lot of confidence. I consider myself lucky to have represented my country on the big stage. I want to take it one step at a time in my career and go ahead in life by learning something new every day,” the Indian spinner, who claimed four wickets in the Under-19 World Cup final against Bangladesh, said. India failed to win a fifth Under-19 World Cup title, as Bangladesh defeated the Boys in Blue by 3 wickets (DLS) in the summit clash.
Interestingly, Bishnoi began as a medium pacer. But his mentors and childhood coaches Shahrukh Pathan and Pradyot Singh spotted his wrist work and ability to read a batsman’s mind in the then 10-year-old Bishnoi and asked him to switch to spin.
“I am short in height and I am also quite lean. I wanted to become a medium pacer. But due to my weight and height, I struggled initially. I was at the nets and was dejected. Shahrukh bhaia and Pradyot bhaia came and asked me to try bowling spin. I bowled a couple of deliveries and trust me I really bowled well. They said, from now one you will be bowling spin. It took time and I faced difficulties, but that’s how I became a spinner,” Bishnoi recalled.
“I started watching bowling videos of Anil sir and Shane Warne sir and I started emulating them. I used to pause the videos to see their fingers and grip over the ball. Sometimes, I work on a particular delivery for a full day,” Bishnoi signed off.