Anand Subramaniam in Dubai 15 April 2014 - 09:35pm IST
Time to make each opportunity count: Rasool
Sunrisers Hyderabad all-rounder looks to make the most of IPL 7
In a free flowing chat with IPLT20.com, the 25-year-old all-rounder talks about the influence of his former state coach Bishen Singh Bedi, his franchise mentor VVS Laxman and his goal to make each opportunity count.
Here are excerpts from his exclusive interview:
How much did you learn from last year’s IPL experience?
It was a bit unfortunate that I could get only two games last year. But in those two games, I did bowl well. I took the wicket of Jacques Kallis, and it was a great moment for me. I took a lot from last year’s IPL and also got a chance to work with Ajantha Mendis. I spoke to him about the carrom ball and tried it out in the nets. You need strong fingers for that, and I am working on that aspect in the nets every day. Along with that, I am also working on the perfect way to bowl the straighter one.
You were drafted into the Board President’s XI for a two-day game against Australia last year. How did you benefit from it?
I bowled a lot of overs and took seven wickets. I also gathered a lot of confidence with the bat in that game. I had not faced balls at speeds of 140 or 150 kph before, and it was a good opportunity for me to face bowlers of international standards and improve my batting. I believe that every game or whatever exposure you get, it always teaches you something and helps in making you a better player.
What is your biggest strength as a bowler?
I feel I have a good stock ball. I believe that I have it in me to beat the batsman with my flight and bamboozle him. I am working on other variations as well, but you need to have a good stock ball. In my case, I need off-spin to be a good bowler.
What are the different aspects of spin bowling that you learnt from your former state coach Bishen Singh Bedi?
He was always interested in my bowling whenever I used to bowl in the nets. He would ask other bowlers to look at my bowling, my seam position and the turn I could get from the pitch. That was very motivating, which made me work harder and realise my potential as a bowler. He always used to ask me to get variations in my flight. He would say, “If a batsman hits you over your head for a six, don’t be disappointed. He has come down the track to your bowling, because he has realised it is a good ball that could beat him.” That has stuck in my head and I try to implement it in my game as much as I can.
If you are hit for a six on your first ball, will you flight the ball or look to contain with the rest of your deliveries?
That is a tricky one, but my main motive will be to look for wickets. I will bowl according to the situation of the game, and if the situation needs me to contain the batsmen, then I will. At the same time, I will have to think of other ways to get the batsman out. T20 is a fast-paced game and you always have to be on your toes.
You have VVS Laxman as your team mentor. He is also one of the best players of spin bowling. Has he given you any valuable tips that you would like to implement during the game?
I feel lucky that I have got a team like Sunrisers Hyderabad. Right from the players and the coaching staff to the mentor, everyone has been very welcoming. I love the atmosphere of the team as they are constantly motivating you to do well. VVS sir does give me tips on my bowling and helps me identify the areas where I am going wrong. When I am bowling well, he appreciates it and doesn’t tell much. But when I go wrong, our coach Tom Moody and Laxman sir are always there to point it out to me and help. Laxman sir was watching me bat the other day in the nets and he gave me a lot of valuable tips on my batting.
In this age of mystery spinners, how do you plan to be amongst the best in the world?
You have to have a lot of variations in your bowling and have something fresh up your sleeve every time. You have to keep working hard to become a good bowler and keep learning from all the experiences you get on the cricket field. I got a chance to interact with Harbhajan Singh recently and have managed to grasp certain things from him. This IPL, I will be meeting a lot of other world-class spinners and I am looking forward to interacting with them and getting better in my bowling. I believe, the more you learn, the better bowler you become.
How do you plan to bowl to dangerous batsmen like Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Kieron Pollard? Has your teammate David Warner given you any suggestions?
I was bowling to David Warner the other day in the nets. I believe I bowled in the right areas and he found it difficult to hit me. He was stepping out of his crease to hit me out of the ground, but I was not allowing him that freedom. As the tournament progresses, I will keep talking to other explosive batsmen in our team, like Aaron Finch, and take inputs from them.
Who is that one spinner in the IPL that has left you amazed and you wished you bowled like him?
There are so many quality spinners in the IPL. There is R Ashwin, Sunil Narine, Harbhajan Singh, etc. But if you ask me to pick my favorite, it would be Harbhajan Singh.