His performances in domestic cricket may have helped him get noticed by the selectors, but his Indian Premier League (IPL) outings for Mumbai Indians have helped him fetch stardom.
The all-rounder reveals his other side in a tête-à-tête with Hindustan Times:
Your confidence comes across as arrogance to some…
Everyone’s got their ways of doing well. I am a very confident person. I am very outspoken and very straightforward. I like people to know what’s exactly going on in my mind.
Like you said, it may come across arrogance at some point of time. But people who know me well, people close to me know that its just a part of my nature and I am still like I was a very long time ago.
One thing that you can do well and Sachin Tendulkar can’t?
I can dance really well.
And the other way around?
I don’t think I can be as humble as Sachin and can’t control emotions as well as him.
Best pal in MI dressing room?
I have a lot of close friends. I am very close to Dhawal (Kulkarni). I also interact a lot with Zaheer (Khan).
One guy who you avoid talking to in MI dressing room?
Honestly, no one. Not yet. When there will be, I promise I will let you know.
How many pairs of shoes you used to carry in your kit bag before playing first-class cricket?
I used two carry two pairs initially. Believe me or not, I carry only one pair of Nike shoes now. That’s the one that suits me the most.
What about bats? I can see you don’t carry just one bat?
I remember clearly I used to have three bats. Now, as you can see (pointing to almost a dozen bats arranged in the room), I carry a lot of bats.
Best IPL moment?
Obviously that one over when I hit (Andrew) Flintoff. Though I didn’t enjoy it till after IPL because I was playing non-stop cricket.
And then it took some more time to really sink in. That one over for me was quite something.
One IPL moment that will haunt you for a long time?
Uff… that Rajasthan Royals game when I got run out (in Durban last year). It was very difficult for me to get over it. And then there’s one more game — the one against Chennai Super Kings in the first year when I took the team close to a win but fell short.
I would really like to get these two games out of my memory at the