Hope to be like Vettori: Appanna

RCB spinner is making the most of the guidance he gets from his skipper

New Delhi 17 May 2012
To regularly mingle with one’s role model is a privilege few can afford. Being a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, left-arm spinner KP Appanna is living his dream while sharing the dressing room with veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori. The icing on the cake for the youngster is that he also gets guidance from two other legends of spin – Anil Kumble and Muttiah Muralitharan.

Excerpts from the 23-year-old’s brief interview with

On whether having a good domestic season before coming into the IPL helped

I just came out of injury. Last year, I was injured, so for one year I was out of cricket. This year, I had a fair [domestic] season [with 28 wickets from eight matches in the Ranji Trophy, and being the team’s leading wicket-taker]. It was a confidence booster for me coming into the IPL, and then, I [also] picked up wickets in IPL. So it was a good confidence booster for me and a platform for me to get into the next level [cricket].

On working alongside three of the best spinners – Kumble, Muralitharan and Vettori

I have no words for them. Having them in the team is in itself a great experience for us. I get to know how to bowl on different kind of wickets because they help me out on how to bowl, what pace to bowl and variations and stuff, and they take a lot of pleasure from it [teaching and sharing] [...] You are going to pick wickets when you are bowling with Muralitharan because they are going to take chances for me, so I can end up getting three four wickets. So yes, it is a good experience for me.

On specific lessons that have helped

They tell you about your run-up and about the pace variation. They don’t change technique much. They just tell you what to do, what they have done in their careers and they just tell us. They just tune us finer, that’s it.

On how different is it for a spinner to play Twenty20 as opposed to the other formats

For spinners, obviously, on a bad day, you go for runs and it is expected. A batsman is going to take chances against you, because they [batsmen] have only 20 overs and have to put the runs on the board. So against the spinners, they are going to take their chances. [...] Bowling would be the same. The only thing is we would change the pace and use of the crease.

On the way IPL has panned out so far

So far it has been good. I hope that it gets better for me. That’s all I hope for.

On what playing in the IPL means to him

For youngsters it is a platform for you to perform because people are watching you; the whole world is watching you. [...] It is a way to get into the Indian team. If you do well here, you never know [you might get an opportunity to play for India]. Like how Rahul Sharma went into the Indian side, you [too] can actually go [get selected to play for India]. You perform here and you can go to the next ladder.

On whether he always wanted to be a left-arm spinner

When I started cricket I didn’t know where I was heading. I just started playing and started to bowl. I used to actually bowl chinaman before, when I was small. Later on, I saw Daniel Vettori and started bowling left-arm spin. This was very long ago, when I was 13.

On sharing the dressing room with Daniel Vettori

It is a great feeling. He is a great bowler. When you look at him, you don’t really know what he does, when it comes to his pace variations. When he is bowling, you don’t really know what he does. It is not easy to predict him as a batsman. I don’t know how he does it. I hope I can be something like that soon. [...] He is definitely helping.

On the must-win match against DD

It is a T20 game. You can’t really plan for a win; you just have to go out there and give your best that you have got. That’s all that you can do. [...]
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