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Like any sportsperson Rishi Dhawan too would have liked to end up on the winning side while playing on his home ground, but it was not to be for the young Mumbai Indians pacer. In their last league game of the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 against Kings XI Punjab, MI’s Dhawan claimed his first wicket of the season in his fourth match.
In the contest at the HPCA Stadium, the pacer was the most economical of the visitors’ bowling attack and bowled a wicket maiden in his first over and gave MI their first breakthrough with the wicket of Mandeep Singh in the second over after Rohit Sharma opted to bowl first.
While speaking to IPLT20.com after the game, Dhawan shared his experience being with MI and how it has helped his bowling.
Excerpts from the interview:
You got your first wicket of the season in your fourth game. How did you prepare?
While I was sitting on the bench and waiting for my chance to play (I worked on bowling in my mind). I did okay. I gave my hundred percent. My effort was to try and give away as minimum runs possible and take maximum wickets. I focused on my basics and that helped.
How did it feel to play on your home ground and get your first IPL wicket here?
It was a good experience. I am always happy to play here; the atmosphere here is so good. I like this ground a lot so it felt good that I took my first IPL wicket here. In the future too whenever I get an opportunity to play in the IPL I will try to do well.
You were the most economical of the MI bowlers in the game. What did you focus on - containing or wicket-taking?
It depends on the situation that the team is in. If we are being hit for runs then I have to try and be economical. I do the type of bowling that is done in the death overs, bowl Yorkers etc and if we are trying to take wickets, then I try to swing the ball from a good length.
How have you befitted from playing alongside Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson?
I have benefitted a lot. I have got the opportunity to learn a lot of good things and they are both very helpful. In the nets they tell me about how to bowl in different situations and how I can improve and tell me about the basics.
What have you learnt from sharing space with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting?
I have learnt a lot from them. They are legends so I always try to learn as much as I can from them. If I ask them something they are always there to tell and share. They are always approachable when you seek advice.
What has been their advice and how has it helped in improving his bowling?
There has been a lot of improvement. If I bowl a ball in a wrong way, make a mistake in the nets etc., they never say, why you did this or that. Instead, they teach me, tell me what I should try to do the next time. When there are such big players around then that you definitely get help.
What do you consider as your strength?
I try to swing the ball most of the time. I consider that my strength. The better I swing the ball the more beneficial it is.
How will you sum up your first season in the IPL with MI?
It has been a good experience. The management is very good. It is a very good set-up and there are so many big names here. I am enjoying it and I try to gain as much as I can, learn as much as I can from all of them.