Prajakta Pawar in Mohali 05 May 2012 - 10:32am IST
Playing in IPL is my reward: Awana
KXIP pacer talks about what motivates him to do well and his journey so far
The IPL is yet another chance for this pacer to make his dream to play for the national team come true.
After practicing at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, the pacer spoke to iplt20.com about his journey so far and his passion for bowling.
On his good form and fast bowling
I am enjoying bowling here. I have performed very well in the Ranji Trophy and I have taken good wickets in four-day format as well as the one-day format. I have played a lot at [Feroz Shah] Kotla where the pitch doesn’t have much to offer. There are flat tracks like that in the IPL too. I play for ONGC as well, and I have played a lot in the hot summers in other tournaments. And that has helped me play now.
On how fast bowlers get motivated and work on bowling on wickets that might not aid them much
If one wants to bowl fast, he will regardless of whether the wicket is flat or has grass on it. I think you can bowl well on a flat track as well, because where there is a dry wicket, I bowl with all my strength and hit hard. I do that otherwise too, but I am able to bowl better on flat tracks.
On whether he focuses on movement or pace
It depends on the wicket. If the ball is new, then swing and pace both should be there. And once the ball becomes old, one can bowl the reverse ball; [...] then you have to put in extra efforts. You have to use different variations like yorkers, bouncers, etc if the wicket is flat.
On how he plans his four overs in an IPL game
If the wicket is helpful, then it is better to focus on the length of the ball. I have seen that as long as I stick to bowling at the right length, it is more effective. If the batsman is hitting you for runs, then you have to vary your deliveries. You can bowl outside the off stump or bouncers,
yorkers and slower ones.
On getting reverse swing
In Delhi and most places in India, the wickets are flat, so if there is no grass on the ground, the ball is ready for reverse swing sooner. [...] I have pace, so if I can get reverse swing, then that is even better. If [I] can get both, then it is very effective.
On working on his fitness
One team is equivalent to a fast bowler. So the fast bowler will go back from practice and do stretching, sleep early and eat well, and then, train separately for bowling.
On his health
Last year, I had hurt my ribs while playing against Mumbai [Indians], but I have recovered well and trained. I try and take whatever I can from wherever I can.
On the KXIP bowling coach Joe Dawes
Sometimes, when I try to put in too much effort, my movement is not right. He then tells me that my movement should go straight. Sometimes you don’t realise [if you are going wrong] when you are putting in too much effort. But he focuses on things and works on it with me. We have been working on my run-up as well, and will continue to do so.
On playing in the IPL
I have got the IPL as a reward for my efforts over the last eight-nine years. I waited for four years after becoming a pacer. I played in the Ranji Trophy in 2007-08. I had performed well in the interim period. I was in the probables [for the Delhi Ranji Trophy team] and when one of our fast-bowlers got injured, I was called to play by Viru bhai [Virender Sehwag]. He gave an opportunity to play, and that was the year we [Delhi] won the Ranji Trophy. So the following year too I got an opportunity and I become the highest wicket-taker for Delhi with 28 wickets from six matches. And then, the year after that, I took 29 wickets. I had a few ups and downs in my fourth season due to injuries. This year, I again had a good season.
When I reflect [on it], sometimes I feel this is my last chance [to make a mark]. I am 25-26 years old now. Everyone dreams of playing for the country and so do I. If it doesn’t happen now, it might not happen. When I go to the ground, all I see is the wicket and nothing else.
On whether he focuses on getting wickets or bowling dot balls
I try to take wickets because if you get early wickets, that will help. If you try to be defensive, then you will be hit and you won’t get wickets either. One has to bowl depending on the team’s needs. If you have the ball in your hand at the start of the innings, then you should go for wickets as you are also the team’s main bowler. If you don’t, then the opposition will pile runs. Whether you get wickets or not you should try for that first; you should attack. Then there is a stage in the game when a batsman is set and there isn’t much in the wicket, then you should try variations in your bowling.
On success and motivation
It is a good thing and feels good. We have given our lives to this. My childhood has gone in this. My friend circle is reduced and I am rarely at home. My family also misses me. I am away from home and they too have worked hard for me. I motivate myself looking at them and the effort that they have put in for me and focus on my performance.