2 matches, 21 wickets: Meet the bowler with this barely believable start to his career – Deepak Dhapola | Crickit
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2 matches, 21 wickets: Meet the bowler with this barely believable start to his career – Deepak Dhapola

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByManish K Pathak
Nov 27, 2018 10:48 AM IST

By his own admission, Dhapola says that after the struggles, he has a long way to go now to get due recognition, but he believes in working hard and keeping up the good work.

‘Please give a special mention to my coach, who backed me all the way, kept asking me to keep trying, kept pushing me. Need the world to know about his impact’.

Dhapola has been mighty impressive in the two matches so far
Dhapola has been mighty impressive in the two matches so far

Deepak Dhapola, the fast bowler who has created quite a wave with 21 wickets in 2 matches in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season has credited his coach, Rajkumar Sharma for keeping his faith in him and training him all the way.

Sharma, who has coached Virat Kohli, has played a significant role in shaping up Dhapola. The fast-bowler toiled away for 9 years in Delhi, came close to the Ranji Trophy camp in 2016-17 but could not get the final nod, has found his reckoning with Uttarakhand this season.

‘Yes, those 9 years were really tough, I kept training. Virat Kohli came and practised with us, he was also impressed with the way I bowled. Mehnat karta reh, achaa hoga is what Kohli said. These words really kept me going. If people have expectations from you, it is a great incentive to have, you want to go out and prove them right,” Dhapola told Hindustan Times.

“Well, to be honest, the past two years have been really frustrating. Age and the perfect time for bowling is also critical and I was not getting any chance, this was really bothering me, but then Rajkumar sir kept pushing me. I can’t thank him enough for all his words and the effort he put in with me,” the fast-bowler added.

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Yes, he toiled hard without recognition for all these years, but then this has made him a more rounded bowler and Uttarakhand coach KP Bhaskar is really excited to have him in the ranks.

“Well, he is new to this level, but he is an experienced bowler. He has played in Delhi, in Kolkata too and he knows what he is doing. The standard we have in Delhi locally, you have to be good to play there. Deepak has the skills, he bowls a beautiful line, does not give too many loose balls, has decent pace too, can get the ball to move both ways and this can only happen when you have trained and put in the hard yards during training,” Bhaskar, who has also been coach of Delhi, said.

“I hit the right areas, full of a good length, ask the batsmen questions, and not to allow them to go either forward and back. I don’t swing the ball as much but rely more on seam, to get the ball to deck either ways after pitching. Bindaas hoke ball daalta hun, pareshan karta hun batsmen ko,” Deepak said.

Coach Bhaskar too nods in affirmation. He says that Deepak is a very skilful bowler who has command over the new and old ball.

“When the ball gets old, Deepak can get it to reverse. Like I remember in our last match (against Manipur), we were struggling. They were 140 odd for 1. I asked the boys to target the stumps and next day, Deepak took control of things. He knocked over 4 batsmen. He is receptive, and is a complete bowler,” Bhaskar observes.

“Well, like I said, I try to hit the right areas, with the new and old ball. When the ball got old, I look to get it to come in and in the match against Manipur, it got me success. We also won the match,” Deepak said.

Impact of Rajat Bhatia

The fast bowler once again reiterated the importance of coaching and his captain, Rajat Bhatia, the Delhi veteran is now captaining Uttarakhand and both Bhaskar and Deepak believe that it is the best thing to happen to the state side.

“We are very fortunate to have someone like Rajat bhaiya captain us. He is such an experienced player and to play under his captaincy is a great learning process for me and for the whole team,” Dhapola says.

“These boys are just starting their career. Deepak too does not have any experience at this level and here the advice he receives from Rajat is very handy. Advice is given, he has started his career and the captain has to take charge of proceedings inside the field. At the same time, he is very receptive,” Bhaskar noted.

By his own admission, Dhapola says that after the struggles, he has a long way to go now to get due recognition, but he believes in working hard and keeping up the good work.

“Luckily Uttarakhand was formed and I got to play for my state, but the road has just started. The backing of all my coaches, the words of advice from senior players have all worked out to be great and now it is up to me how I take things forward.”

Every match is a new beginning

‘I am a huge Dale Steyn fan’ (AFP)
‘I am a huge Dale Steyn fan’ (AFP)

“Last match is over now, I will again start with 0 wickets in the next game. This is how I view myself right now, to always focus on what is at present and not live in the past. Have to keep performing,” Dhapola said.

The bowler idolises the iconic Dale Steyn and has received great inputs from former Indian pace bowler Ashish Nehra.

“I am a huge Dale Steyn fan. He is such a fit bowler, such a complete bowler to watch. When I practiced in Delhi, Ashish Nehra bhaiya used to give me a lot of tips and even I used to ask him questions and he would always respond,” Deepak said

KP Bhaskar, who has seen many young talents flourish under his tutelage over the years, wants to take things one step at a time.

“’It’s early days. It is very nice to coach a team which is receptive. It is a game, there are times when things don’t go their way, they come and ask. I’m sure if they get experience and the boys mature, they will do well even in the Elite group once we qualify. It will take some time, we are sowing the seeds. We have to channelise the talent, they have to play more local leagues like the Buchi Babu,” the coach signs off.

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