‘Mahendra Singh Dhoni takes the pressure off’

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‘Mahendra Singh Dhoni takes the pressure off’

Mohit Sharma earned his India cap after playing a superb IPL season for Chennai Super Kings in 2013. The Haryana bowler had picked up 20 wickets from 15 matches for Chennai last season.

By Adur Pradeep (pradeep@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Sun 27 Apr 2014, 10:49 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:19 PM

Mohit Sharma picked up four wickets against Mumbai Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday night. — KT photo by Shihab

Mohit Sharma picked up four wickets against Mumbai Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday night. — KT photo by Shihab

The pacer has started the Pepsi IPL 2014 season on a promising note, having taken six wickets from four matches and helped Chennai win three matches.

The 25-year old medium pacer was at his lethal best when he took four wickets for 14 runs from his four overs and guided Chennai to a seven wicket victory over Mumbai Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday night.

“I had a good Ranji Trophy season (for Haryana in 2011-12 season) and that’s when Chennai took me. I always wanted to play for Chennai so it was a dream come true. I had a good IPL, then a good Ranji Trophy. If you perform well, it will be noted. So I got a chance to play for India and I hope things will remain the same way going forward,” Sharma, who won the man-of-the match award, told reporters after the match.

Sharma, who was one of the best Powerplay bowlers in 2013, said he likes the challenge of bowling with the new ball.

“I have always bowled with the new ball. In Powerplays, I try not to vary things too much. I just stick to a line and length and not try to do too much.”

While analysing the wickets in UAE, Sharma, who made his India debut with a one-day international against Zimbabwe in July 2013, said: “I think this (Dubai) wicket was on the slower side. In Abu Dhabi, it’s a green track. Under lights, the wicket does a lot for fast bowlers. The ball moves a lot. So it helps fast bowlers. In Dubai and Sharjah it’s not easy to hit slower balls because the pitch is slow too. If you bowl at pace, the ball reaches the batsman at good pace.”

Chennai, who lost their opening match against Kings XI Punjab, made a good comeback with three consecutive victories in the tournament.

“We are working hard in training. The IPL is about the flow. We are doing well right now, so the mood is good, and the feeling is good in the dugout as well.”

While talking about the experience of sharing the dressing room with some of the top international players, he said: “Playing with a big player, you can learn a lot by watching. When I first joined, I watched people and learnt. You learn how to conduct yourself. On the field too, you learn to be calm and composed. Mahi (MS Dhoni) bhai just asks us to work on our strengths and not worry too much about the opponents. He takes the pressure off completely.”

Sharma is also not much bothered about the size of the ground when he bowls.

“When I am bowling I don’t really know about the size of the ground. When sixes are hit, they usually go a long way into the stands. So I don’t know if it matters,” he added.

His captain Dhoni was also quite impressed with Sharma’s bowling. “The death bowling was superb. In the middle overs they (Mumbai) had a partnership going which meant we were under a bit of pressure. It meant the bowlers had to step up,” he said.

“We were not sure how the wicket would play in the second half. Last game we played here we realised the slower one works really well, you had to hit the right areas which Mohit did,” Dhoni added.

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