Fri. May 7th, 2021

Kolkata: He is only 20. But he has started to dream big. He is eyeing to take the wicket of Steve Smith, one of the best batsmen in world cricket right now.

We are talking about Ravi Bishnoi, the young leg spinner from Rajasthan who will represent Punjab Kings (formerly known as Kings XI Punjab) in this year’s IPL.

In an exclusive chat with the ABP LIVE Bengali, Ravi said, ‘I am a big fan of Anil Kumble and Shane Warne. I watch their bowling on youtube whenever I get time.’ Any specific spell that you watch time and again? ‘Yes, Kumble sir’s 10 wickets haul against Pakistan in the historical test match at Firoz Shah Kotla. I have watched it many times. Such inspirational bowling. I have learnt a lot from it,’ answered Ravi over zoom call.

There are a number of resemblances between him and the legendary Kumble, be it a long run up, faster deliveries, sudden bounce from any kind of surfaces. And coincidentally, Ravi gets to play under Kumble’s tutelage in Punjab Kings, where Kumble is the chief coach. How is that experience? Ravi said, ‘Oh it’s been fantastic. Kumble sir is such a legend and has a rich contribution for Indian cricket. We get to learn so many things. He is always encouraging. I am privileged to get the scope to play under him as a coach.’

Ravi had a brilliant IPL debut last year in the UAE, grabbing 12 wickets in 14 matches and with an economy rate of just 7.37, which is praise worthy for any bowler in T20 format. ‘I will try to maintain that form in this year’s IPL too. I will be happy if I can contribute for the team in winning purpose,’ said a confident Ravi. He is happy as people can recognize him now everywhere.

Who will be your dream scalp? Ravi said, ‘Each and every wicket is important for me. But I will be glad if I get the wicket of Steve Smith.’

Punjab have never won the IPL trophy, their best performance was in 2014 when they reached the final, losing the match to KKR. Can you turn the cards this year? Ravi said, ‘We are quite confident. We have a new name, new logo, fresh legs. We can be the champions this year. Last year we lacked some luck. Hopefully the scenario will change this time.’

T-20 World Cup is not very far and a stellar performance in IPL might book him a spot in the Indian dressing room. But Ravi is not thinking about it. He remains calm at this prospect. ‘I am focusing on IPL only. My only priority is to play well for my team. The rest will fall in place,’ is what he said.

How supportive is K L Rahul as captain? ‘Rahul Bhai is very supportive. He always gives me freedom to bowl up to my plan and strength,’ said Ravi. He added, ‘We have never won the trophy. This year we will turn the table. We will write a new history. I am very much positive about the chances.’

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