Variations are my assets: Trivedi

RR seamer cherishes Tendulkar’s wicket most

Jaipur 29 April 2013
A tall unassuming seamer, Siddharth Trivedi recognises his limitations and works within them successfully. Accurate and consistent the 30-year old Rajasthan Royals bowler has been coached by his father Kishore Trivedi to bowl on one spot. Determined and disciplined, the 30-year old has been with the Jaipur franchise since the inception of the Indian Premier League and is their leading wicket-taker with 59 wickets from 67 games at an economy rate of 7.71.

A senior member of the team, who has played under the leadership of Shane Warne and now under Rahul Dravid, he says the smooth transition of him and the rest of Indian players in addition to the down to earth attitude of the overseas players has helped RR become and remain a family. While he has witnessed the transformations in his team and the league, now in its sixth season, Trivedi’s role too has undergone changes over the years. He has done well to adapt and succeed in the roles assigned to him in each edition be it to open the bowling or trundle down in the middle or death overs.

In a free flowing chat with, Trivedi, spoke about the team, his bowling and Shaun Tait’s envious pace.

Excerpts from the interview:

On the intensity of T20 and the need to plan and strategise.

Yes the intensity is high and you have to plan. You have only four overs to send down and if a four or six is hit at the wrong time then the entire match slips away from you. Twenty20 cricket is more of a mind thing and you have to be focused 120 balls. You have to work on each delivery whereas in other formats you have to rely more on your skills. In the longer format you keep bowling on one spot and if the batsman makes a mistake he gets out.

On the key to his consistency and discipline and how he has been working towards it.

I think after 13 years of playing first-class cricket I have gained some experience. And you also get to learn a lot from the overseas players - how they mentally prepare before a game, their thinking and attitude (etc), so all those things help. In addition to that, I try to work out from whatever matches I have played; my strengths, ways I can concede fewer runs and so far, ‘touchwood’ things are working out well.

On how he practices and works on his skills.

My father, Kishore Trivedi has been my coach. And from when I was a kid he used to make me bowl to a single wicket. No matter what, the bowler should not lose his line and length. He made me capable of being able to bowl six balls on one spot. So my thinking from the beginning has been to maintain line and length. And by watching my idol Glenn McGrath, I have learnt some. I like his bowling style, I like the way he bowls on one spot. When a player says to me, ‘you bowl only in your area’ (a compliment), that makes me feel good. I have been practicing that always and will continue to do that.

On his bowling and the innovations he has developed.

My slower ball has gotten me a lot of wickets and I have received a lot of appreciation for it as well. Also I have learnt a new slower delivery which I have used in some matches now. I will use that in the future as well depending on the wicket. My variations are my biggest assets.
On Shaun Tait and bowling alongside him.

It feels good but sometimes one feels bad as well because he bowls at 150 odd kph while I am in 130s only, but from him too I get to learn a lot. While bowling in the nets he shares his experience. Sometimes I do ask him in jest how to bowl at 150 kph and he tells me that he tries bowling fast in the nets. But that is not my style and I cannot make a major change at this juncture after playing for so many years. I know my limitations and so I work within them. I look to produce my best performance within those limitations.

On whether he has been working on his batting.

No, not really because wherever I play, I bat at No 10 or 11. So the responsibility given to me is bowling even in the Ranji Trophy. If you are bowling 30-35 overs every innings than you don’t have the strength to concentrate on batting.

On his most memorable wicket in the IPL so far.

It has to be the caught and bowled of Sachin Tendulkar in the first season. That was the most memorable wicket for me so far.

On motivating himself and coming back after being hit by batsmen. And what advice he has for younger players in similar situations.

It is a test of character. It happens to the best of bowlers and it has happened to me as well. Now Rahul Shukla is new so with him I tell him not to be afraid. If you are hit for a four on a delivery, make sure you bowl your best ball next. Even if you concede one run, it means you have won the battle. You have to believe in your ability and skills.

On his role in the team and how it has evolved.

My role has changed over the six years. In the first couple of years I used to bowl in the middle overs and in the death. And then for one or two years in between I would bowl an over during the power play then bowl the rest in the middle overs. In the fourth year I would bowl in the middle overs and death overs. This year my role is to bowl in the middle overs, from 6 to 13 -14th to keep the situation tight. So I practice accordingly in the nets as well. I work on what kind of a field I will set in the match and try to imagine and visualise that and bowl accordingly.

On whether he focuses on containing or wicket-taking.

My focus is to contain, because if I can contain, the batsman will try to go for the big shots and if I don’t give him room, my chances of getting a wicket increase in that scenario.

On the way the Royals’ have evolved over the years.

Being here for six years I have seen a lot changes in the Rajasthan Royals team, and good changes. The journey started under Shane Warne’s leadership. Now Rahul Dravid has taken over and he has not made too many changes to the way things were going on, just modified a few things and continued with what was going on. And I think that has been the biggest success for the Royals’.

On the smooth transformation and key to the team being a unit.

The franchise has been lucky in terms of overseas players. We have Indian players who play either with or against each other throughout the year, but the overseas players who have not seen or met us before and vice versa are gelling well in such a short period of time. It shows their qualities as well and we are fortunate that whichever overseas player has signed up for RR so far has been humble and down to earth and have mixed with the group, making for a good team environment and that feels like a family.

On one advice from former captain Shane Warne and from current skipper Rahul Dravid that has helped him

Shane Warne told me, ‘you are a magician’ so that helps. (Why a magician?) Because in the first year, no one could read my slower deliveries and that is a surprise package I have been very successful with. I think the success I have had is because of the slower ball has remained as a part of my image, it has remained in people’s mind that, my slower delivery is good.

And Rahul bhai keeps giving me compliments, saying, ‘just deliver your best, you are the man’. It is his favourite – ‘you are the man, you are the man’. When I take crucial wickets he says, ‘you are the man, you are the man’, so that motivates a lot.

As years pass you have to modify a bit, sometimes the length, sometimes in line taking into consideration the batsman and the situation. And if you are able to do it then eight out of ten times you will be successful.

On the way he has seen the IPL evolve

The IPL has become so famous all over the world and has led to so many innovative shots being invented and executed. Bowlers too have become more skillful. So I think the challenge for a cricketer has become bigger because you cannot just do some bits here and there and be safe. You have to be on the spot all the time if you want to survive, otherwise one ball can change everything. So the intensity of the IPL has increased immensely.

On the platform that IPL has given the youngsters and domestic players

This is a kind of tournament watched by billions around the world. Your performance is being watched and it is a platform to showcase your talent, and success here can result in National recognition. It is up to the players to grab the opportunities and prove their worth. 
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