‘Mahi bhai’s wicket was my favourite’: Chetan Sakariya says he was ‘happily shocked’ after dismissing MS Dhoni
The Indian Premier League has been acting as the launchpad for young cricketing talents. This year, the tournament came to an abrupt halt as the rising cases of Covid-19 in its bio bubbles forced the organisers of the league to suspend it indefinitely. But before the shop was shut temporarily, the league introduced a fresh talent called Chetan Sakariya.
The Rajasthan Royals left-arm quick was one of the highlights of the season. Despite a loose start, Sakariya hogged the limelight in match no. 12, against Chennai Super Kings. The 23-year-old dismissed the likes of Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni and became the star of the night despite his team lost the encounter.
For a newcomer like Sakariya, scalping the prized wicket of the CSK skipper was something ‘unreal’. In a conversation with Sportstar, he admitted that Dhoni’s wicket was his favourite out of the 7 wickets he pocketed in as many matches.
“Mahi [Dhoni] bhai’s wicket was my favourite. I was happily shocked. It felt unreal. If you see the video, you will know how shocked I was,” Sakariya told Sportstar.
Sakariya also spoke about the pressure of playing in IPL for the first time. He explained how bowling against some of the great batsmen helped him gain confidence.
“Initially, I felt the pressure but later on, I handled that. I bowled a few good spells to some great batsmen. I never thought I would bowl to them someday. That gave me a lot of confidence. I think I bowled better than I thought I would. I have to improve but I am happy with my performance,” he said.
During his stint with the Royals, Sakariya shared the dressing room with senior players like England's wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman. Speaking about the inputs he received from them, he said, “Mustafizur is a good reader of the wicket. He will tell you when to bowl your slower delivery. He knows how to unsettle the rhythm of a batsman.”
“Buttler, though a batsman, told me a lot about bowling in the Powerplay. He would stand beside me when I bowled during the practice games. He told me to stick to the length and not worry about conceding a boundary. It’s just that there should not be a single loose delivery,” he said.