NEW DELHI: He is all of 22 but Ravi Bishnoi fully understands that cricket indeed is a cruel game and instead of Arshdeep Singh, it could have been him dropping an important sitter against Pakistan during the recently held Asia Cup.
Arshdeep faced an unbelievable backlash on social media after he dropped Asif Ali’s catch off Bishnoi’s bowling in the Super 4s game that India lost.
Bishnoi, however, had impressive figures of 1/28 in 4 overs and was easily the best bowler in his only chance at the continental event.
“Paaji mere sabse acche dost hai (Paaji is a dear friend). We all know that dropped catches are part and parcel of the game. It can happen with the best. It could well have been the other way round where he was bowling and I happened to drop the catch,” Bishnoi, who has played 10 T20Is for India in 2022, told PTI during an interaction.
“Arshdeep is one of the bravest boys that I know. After that catch, you saw how he came and bowled at the death. It never looked as if he was perturbed. That’s his mental strength,” said the Rajasthan man, who is in the stand-by for the ICC T20 World cup.
Working on developing a potent leg break
With 16 wickets and an economy rate of 7.08, Bishnoi has been impressive in the chances that he has got for India in the shortest version.
But having missed the T20 World Cup bus to a much senior and accomplished Yuzvendra Chahal, the common question is that if he is becoming a one-dimensional option with googly as his only potent weapon.
“No one from the team management has pressed it upon me that I have to develop a leg-break,” the Jodhpur lad said.
In fact, former leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutule, who also happens to be one of the bowling coaches who travels with the team, told him not to worry.
“I had spoken to Sairaj sir and he said that it’s fine as long as I am working on that variation. He told me ‘Yes, you are trying to develop a potent leg-break and someday, you will certainly execute it to perfection. I am working on it and hope it happens sooner than later,” Bishnoi said.
In fact, wrist spin is one of the toughest arts in cricket and Bishnoi knows that he can’t be afraid of batters giving him the charge.
“You shouldn’t be scared of getting hit or when the batter is attacking. As per the situation, I bowl a lot of flippers and top spinners. You need to analyse the match situation and bowl accordingly.”
Yuzi bhai tells me to “enjoy” and “be fearless”
It is not always easy if your competition is as skilful a bowler as Chahal but Bishnoi is enjoying every moment of working with the senior wrist spinner.
“Yuzi bhai hasn’t told me anything specific (on leg break bowling). He always tells me that every moment that you are on the ground, you should enjoy it and as a pair, we should try and bowl well in tandem which is beneficial for the team.”
Bishnoi feels comfortable in both kinds of roles, attacking as well as a restrictive one.
“One has to perform a specific role that is being assigned. At times, it could be a wicket-taking role and at times, a restrictive one. For me, the most important aspect is that I have not wasted opportunities, whatever chances I have got, I have tried my best to utilise it.”
‘Dressing room accepted me with open arms’
It has now been seven months that Bishnoi has sporadically played for India but being in that dressing room environment with some of the best players in the world has helped him in his learning curve.
“It was the best moment of my life when I got India call-up and my coaches were ecstatic. It has been a great journey so far with the team as we won almost all the bilateral contests and only the Asia Cup didn’t go our way.”
Bishnoi will be brand face of Super4, latest entrant in the gaming sector that allows cricket fans and enthusiasts across India to create teams prior to the start of a match. Super 4 provides fans with India’s First ever cricket scorecard empowering fans and enthusiasts to create fantasy scoreboards.
It has also been announced as the title sponsor for the inaugural match of the upcoming inaugural Legends League match between Indian Maharajas and World Giants to commemorate the 75th Year of Indian Independence.