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Jakati enjoying the spotlight

The Super Kings had a reason to party: their first win in five matches. And Jakati played a big role in Wednesday’s win. Nikhilesh Bhattacharya reports.

cricket Updated: Apr 01, 2010 23:36 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya

Shadab Jakati wants to catch some sleep. “Really tired,” the left-arm spinner says at the team hotel on Thursday afternoon. Jakati and his teammates, clad in bright yellow colours of the Chennai Super Kings, are just back from an event with the sponsors. And there must have been a party the previous night.

The Super Kings had a reason to party: their first win in five matches. And Jakati played a big role in Wednesday’s win.

Visiting captain Anil Kumble said his team lost momentum near the end of their innings. Muttiah Muralitharan and Jakati were the reasons for it.

“We had discussed the need for bowlers to finish well. I had bowled my first three overs well and wanted to finish strongly,” said Jakati. His figures were two for 17 from four overs.

Maybe it is the tiredness, or maybe because he has been around for so long, the 29-year-old can’t seem to remember the year of his first-class debut. He insists it is 1999-2000, while the Internet archives suggest it was the year before that. But whether it is 11 or 12 years of toil in the domestic circuit, Jakati’s tale is one of the heart-warming ones thrown up by the IPL.

The Super Kings recruited Jakati before the first edition after he hit two whirlwind fifties for Goa in the South Zone leg of the inter-state one-dayers at the India Cements ground here. He did not get a game in the first year, but picked up four wickets on IPL debut in South Africa in 2009. “It was my first trip abroad,” said Jakati, who picked up four more in the next match.

“It is a great platform for anyone,” he said of the IPL, which has taken him from the backwaters of domestic cricket and put him under the spotlights.

But Jakati, whose family runs a business dealing in scraps in Vasco, seems to have his feet planted firmly on the ground. Hear him thank “Muralitharan sir” for all the advice in the nets, or see him answer questions patiently though he is ready to drop and you are left in no doubt about that.

“Keep it simple,” is his strategy while bowling and he seems to follow it in life as well.