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IPL 2020: How to stop KL Rahul from playing big shots? Ravi Bishnoi has the answer

rituraj@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 25, 2020
Ravi Bishnoi took three wickets against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. (IPL)

The young Kings XI Punjab leg-spinner says he is learning a lot from team head coach Anil Kumble

Kings XI Punjab's Ravi Bishnoi says it's a great opportunity for a young player like him to perform against the best players in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The precocious 20-year-old leg-spinner from Rajasthan impressed with his turn and variations as he took three wickets for 32 runs in the Kings XI Punjab's emphatic 97-run win over the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

"It's everybody's dream to play the IPL. So, obviously it's a great feeling that I am getting this opportunity to play the IPL. It's a great opportunity for youngsters like me to play on such a big stage," Bishnoi told his teammate Mayank Agarwal during a video interview that was shared on the IPL website.  

Bishnoi also said that having the legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble as the Kings XI head coach has been a great help.

"Anil Sir has always advised me to back my strength and skills. He doesn't want you to try too many things. He has asked me to do what I feel I can do in a particular match situation," said Bishnoi before revealing that he was learning the flipper from the Indian master.

And getting the wicket of Australian white-ball captain Aaron Finch in Thursday's game was highly satisfying for Bishnoi.

"It was great to get the wicket of Aaron Finch especially after being hit for a few runs in the first over," he said.

"So when you get a wicket after a difficult first over, it's always a great boost for the bowler. Rahul bhai (skipper KL Rahul) just advised me to focus on my own bowling rather than worrying about what the batsman was going to do. He asked me to stick to my basics."

It was Rahul's imperious 132 not out off 69 balls that allowed the Kings XI Punjab bowlers to defend a total as big as 206.

But Bishnoi says he now knows how to restrict Rahul, an incredibly gifted shot-maker, having bowled to him in the Kings XI nets.

"The biggest challenge about bowling to KL Rahul is that he is a very good player of spin. So when I am bowling to him in the nets, I try to restrict him, I try to bowl in areas that makes it difficult for him to hit me. I just try to make sure I don't bowl loose balls to him. So, yes, I enjoy bowling to him," he said.

So who is that big international star that Bishnoi would love to dismiss in this IPL?

"I would love to take the wicket of Steve Smith because he is such a good player of spin," he smiled.

Well, Bishnoi will get a chance to bowl at Smith when the Kings play their next game against the Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.

 

author

Rituraj Borkakoty

A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.


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