My dream was fulfilled today: Chandila

RR spinner talks about his match-winning performance against PWI

Jaipur 13 May 2012
Claiming the first hat-trick of IPL 2012, Ajit Chandila was instrumental in Rajasthan Royals victory over the Pune Warriors India in a must-win game at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. The tall off-spinner had a dream run as he returned with figures of 4-0-13-4.

After claiming Jesse Ryder and Sourav Ganguly, he completed his hat-trick with the wicket of the hard-hitting Robin Uthappa, and later, sent Anustup Mujumdar packing.

A visibly happy Chandila spoke to after winning the match.


You have taken the first hat-trick of IPL 2012 in your second match this season. Your thoughts

It is a dream for every cricketer [to play this well]. I had dream that I should be able to do something on this platform that stands out. [...] The confidence that RR has given me, Rahul [Dravid] bhai and Monty [Desai] [the coach] have given, [has helped me].

Narendra Hirwani [former India cricketer], who is like a big brother to me, has taught me a lot. Whenever I have a problem or I am confused [I speak to him]. Today, Rahul bhai asked me to play on this big platform. The situation was such that we had to win the match and I was also under pressure [because] if I have got an opportunity to play in the match, I have to do well for my team. I spoke to him and he gave a lot of confidence. My [state team] Haryana has also supported me a lot to be able to reach here. I also spoke to my [HCA] secretary Anirudh Choudhary, and too he told me, “Play like you always do.”

What were you thinking when you were about to bowl the hat-trick ball?

I have taken a hat-trick before in Twenty20 cricket. So the only thing I was thinking about was to bowl my best ball. Robin Uthappa plays with me for Air India, so I know [his game]. So I thought of tossing it [the ball] up and entice the batsman into a cover drive. My plan was successful.

Of all the three wickets which is your favourite?

Dada’s [Sourav Ganguly] wicket.

Would you say this is your best performance so far?

Yes! I had a dream, and it is fulfilled today.

Did you feel that you had enough runs on the board when you came out to defend 170 runs?

We have a good bowling attack. Siddharth [Trivedi] is a good bowler and has always taken wickets for us. He is the best bowler in the RR team.

RR’s fielding has been very good today. Your thoughts

We have good fielding side. It is a part of the game to field well. Johan Botha, who is an extraordinary fielder, motivates us and tells us that if you do something extraordinary on the ground, it will be noticed. [...]

Is your team dependant on Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson’s batting?

It is a team effort. Until we don’t play as a unit [we can’t win]. All the eleven players have to perform their role. Of course, Shane Watson is a good all-rounder and his presence in the team has benefitted us a lot and his performances have helped us win.

What is difference in bowling in T20 and bowling in the multi-day format?

I work and play for Air India which is the No.1 cricket team among the corporate, and so I have learnt a lot by being with them because we play a lot of 40-over games. We play a lot of Twenty20 cricket. And I have always bowled in the powerplay and death overs. So that has given me the experience and confidence [to play here].

How do you prepare for bowling in powerplays and death overs?

I always read the batsman and bowl accordingly. [...] I set my own fields.

What did Rahul Dravid say to you that gave you the confidence that you talked about earlier?

When I signed the contract [with RR], Rahul bhai said to me, “Ajit, if [Johan] Botha rests, then you will play.” That gave me confidence. [...] Botha is the captain of his team in South Africa in Twenty20, and me being asked to play in his place gave a boost to my confidence. The fact that I am being compared to Botha, gave me a lot of confidence.
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