Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) pacer Chetan Sakariya impressed one and all with his performance, especially in the death overs, and his ability to deal with pressure in the first half of IPL 2021. He is undoubtedly a rising star for Indian cricket in the future.
Sakariya was a surprise purchase by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) for a massive INR 1.20 crore at the IPL 2021 auction, but he turned out a game-changer and one of the finds of the IPL 14, which was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India and now set to resume in the UAE in August-September.
The youngster had a memorable IPL 2021 debut with the RR, taking seven wickets in as many games with an economy rate of 8.22 before the tournament was postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Apart from his technique, variations and discipline, the left-arm pacer also impressed everyone with his calm and composed nature, as well as, brilliant fielding and attitude on the field in the IPL 2021.
Recently, Sakariya recalled his debut stint in the IPL 14 and how he planned Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s wicket at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He also said Dhoni’s wicket was the most special for him in the first half of IPL 2021.
Sakariya told India TV, “Dhoni's wicket was the most special for me. The match took place in Wankhede Stadium and the wicket was helping the batsmen. The match situation also suited Dhoni because he plays very well in death overs. So, to dismiss him at that point felt very nice.”
The youngster further added, “Our plan was to make him play away from his body because he was comfortably dealing with the deliveries coming into him. Thankfully, the plan worked.”
After returning home following the suspension of the IPL 14, Sakariya said he tries to keep himself busy in order to stay away from negative thoughts having lost his father Kanjibhai Sakariya due to COVID-19.
The RR pacer said, “It has been a difficult time for me and my family. I try to be with my friends as much as I can and try not to think about the present situation. It gets tough when you're alone. The restrictions are easing slowly here, so I'm able to train in the ground. I'm focusing on fitness and try to run as much as possible.
"I received phone calls from many people during this time. Jaydev Shah, the president of the Saurashtra Cricket Association talked to me and Jaydev Unadkat also called me. Sanga sir (Kumar Sangakkara) asked everyone at Rajasthan Royals to not call me because he wanted to let me be with my family during this difficult time. I'm very thankful for all the support.”
On his career goals, the 23-year-old said, “I want to play Test matches for India, that is my goal. I want to play in the whites for a long time, like Zaheer sir (Zaheer Khan).”
He signed off by saying, “Test cricket is challenging and it allows you to improve your fitness and skills. My selection is not in my hands. I'm only focusing on my performances. Yes, if I continue with the same form I'm hopeful of representing the country soon.”
(With INDIA TV Inputs)