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IPL 2020

IPL 2020: It was a learning experience bowling to Dhoni in IPL, says Shamsi

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on August 22, 2020 | Last updated on August 22, 2020 at 12.17 am
Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni undergoes thermal screening at the Chennai airport before leaving for the UAE on Friday. - PTI

The South African bowler also said it was an eye opener to play the tournament under Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli

South African bowler Tabraiz Shamsi said that playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) was an eye-opener and the chinaman bowler added that it was an exciting and learning experience bowling to former Indian captain MS Dhoni.

The 30-year-old featured in the IPL for two seasons, turning out for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) from 2016 to 2018. He had initially come in as an injury replacement for West Indian leg spinner Samuel Badree.

"It was really nice for me," Shamsi told Anis Sajan, mentor of the Delhi Bulls franchise in the Abu Dhabi T10 League, also the managing director of Danube Group, in a video chat titled 'Cricket Unplugged with Anis Sajan.'

"Obviously, it is eye opening, especially for somebody that was an unknown player, I had never played for my country, so I never played in front of big crowds like that. And it depends on the type of person you are, either it is going to make you nervous or either it is going to make you excited and for me, it was really exciting to be there. Why would you want to play in an empty stadium when you can play in front of 50,000 or 60,000 people and that's the place I wanted to be.

"And it was really exciting, it opens up your eyes to a new type of cricket, different pressures. And that was really lovely for me to be in the change room like that, learning from different players because when you are from a certain country, you only know one way. When you mingle with players from other countries, they've developed their own ways of winning games and stuff. So, it is nice to pick up knowledge from the other guys and implement them in your own game," he added.

Shamsi, who played franchise cricket before making his international debut, said that bowling to Dhoni helped him add a new dimension. "That was really nice for me. Obviously, he is known as probably the best finisher in the game. And, like I said, when you are playing in big grounds, in front of huge crowds, either it can scare you or it could get you excited and for me, it was really exciting that I was able to bowl to one of the best finishers the game has ever seen. I felt that I did decently against him and that gave me extra confidence that if I can bowl to Dhoni, I can bowl to any batsman in the world. And those are the kind of lessons and experiences that can help you moving forward in the future and that's what I decided to use it as," said Shamsi, who has played two Tests, 22 ODIs and an equal number of T20Is.

During his time with RCB, Shamsi witnessed Virat Kohli from close quarters and rated the Indian captain above Steve Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson as the best batsman in the world at the moment. "Virat Kohli," was Shamsi's prompt answer when asked to pick among the four. "He's my type of player, he plays aggressive, he plays hard and he doesn't back down. And I'm the same so, any day of the week, I'll take Virat," he said.

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