Exclusive: What Tyagi did was really special, says Shamsi
Shamsi also revealed why Tyagi reminded him of Lasith Malinga
Tabraiz Shamsi’s role in Rajasthan Royals’ two-run win in the dramatic last-over finish against Punjab Kings was limited to cheering his mates from the dugout.
The 31-year-old South African left-arm-spinner, who is waiting to make his debut as a Rajasthan Royals player in the Indian Premier League (IPL), says he has never seen a more dramatic finish in a game of cricket.
Punjab, chasing 186, were in a commanding position at 182 for two after 19 overs only to be astounded by the last-over mastery from a rookie named Kartik Tyagi.
The 20-year-old pacer conceded just one run and took two wickets to script the most dramatic victory for the Royals.
Shamsi, during an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, revealed why Tyagi reminded him of a certain Lasith Malinga.
Q. How has it been to be part of a new franchise? How has been the experience with the Royals so far?
It’s been really nice. It’s been unbelievable being a part of the Rajasthan Royals family. And it really is like a family. Everybody is together all the time, everyone’s made comfortable and everyone’s made to feel very welcome, in the environment, you know. So that’s been very, very pleasing for me. And I think that’s the biggest positive of being a part of the Rajasthan Royals team.
Q. You would probably get a chance to make your RR debut in the team’s next match against Delhi Capitals on Saturday. Are you ready mentally and physically?
I am ready. Whenever the management feels the need for me to step in to try and help the team win, I will be ready. You know we always do our work behind the scenes and try to be ready to do the job when you have to. Even when you are not playing as a player, there’s a lot you can do behind the scenes to help the team and try and just make sure that there are people that are chosen to play at the time, they go out there and do the job for the team. So whether I am playing or not playing, I don’t see my role to be changing that much, to be honest. There is a lot that I can do behind the scenes, which I have been doing and I intend on continuing to do that.
Q. The Royals pulled off a stunning fightback against Punjab Kings on Tuesday night. How was the celebration in the dressing room?
Oh, you can imagine! Obviously, that sort of a game, if we are all honest, nobody would have thought that such a comeback was possible. You know we all watch a lot of cricket, play a lot of cricket, and it was something that you can’t really script that. You can’t predict that. So, of course, everybody was very happy as you can imagine, you know. The celebrations were good. But that says a lot about Rajasthan Royals as a team. There is a consistent mood in the camp, whether we win, whether we lose. We just focus on how we go about our things in terms of our preparations. I think that’s the most important thing.
Q Where would you rank this among the greatest fightbacks you have seen?
It’s right up there. You are speaking about me, but, you know, I saw a tweet from Dale Steyn. And he has been playing for so long, he has been the best what he does for so many years. And even he was impressed. So it just tells you the calibre of the finish. What Tyagi did at the end, was something really special. To get praise from a person like Dale Steyn and I am sure, he has seen a lot more than I have, and for him to say something like that, you can imagine. That was unbelievable. And for me, personally as well, you know, I have been part of a few close games, but I don’t think I have been part of anything like that. We were defending eight from the last two overs with them having so many wickets in hand. As much as you back yourself to win a game from any situation, I think even if we were given one per cent chance of winning that game, I think we got that.
Q. How good was Kartik Tyagi? He’s so young, but his composure in that final over when the situation was almost hopeless for a Royals fan, was unbelievable…
Look, anybody that can pull that off obviously has to have nerves of steel and just the belief in themselves. I was just speaking to a couple of guys who said he (Tyagi) basically nails six out of six yorkers. Who in the world can do that, you know? I mean Lasith Malinga is one guy that comes to mind, he has just retired. He is probably your blueprint for yorkers, being one of the best ever in terms of yorkers. So I think what he executed yesterday, I think it was stunning. That’s only going to help him grow, you know. We always speak about ‘it doesn’t really matter what you have done previously, what matters is that the over that you are bowling, or that ball that you have to bowl, and you know, to execute like that, the way he did it, in the last over, it’s going to do wonders for his career going forward. Because now he knows, no matter what situation he is in, he is capable of producing something like that. Cricket has a lot to do with belief in your own abilities. I think that’s how you win pressure situations. Like I said, knowing that he has done something like this before, will obviously put him in a very good position if he is in a situation like that moving forward.
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