Claiming the coveted wickets of Virat Kohli and South African run-machine AB De Villiers was the best moment of my cricketing career, says young Rajasthan Royals spinner Shreyas Gopal. The leg-spinner took 3 wickets for 12 runs in his magical four-over spell, which helped Rajasthan Royals secure their first win of the season, a seven-wicket victory over struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday night.
“Getting Virat Kohli and AB Villiers in the same match is a dream for any youngster. It is the best moment of my cricketing career and definitely one of the biggest moments of my IPL cricket,” Shreyas said at the post match conference. “Any wicket is a big wicket but obviously these two are big names so it feels that much more better. But I feel I shouldn’t be getting ahead of myself and stay calm,” he added.
The 25-year-old said that it was hard to devise a plan against batsmen of Kohli and De Villiers’ stature. “Honestly, I feel it is hard to plan a dismissal for batsmen like them (Kohli and De Villiers). You just need to be able to bowl your best ball and try and hit the best area on that particular wicket. It is all based on the situation,” Gopal said.
“When you land on the ground you obviously do your homework. What the type of ground is, how the wicket is reacting, how the opposition has been playing. So for example (Krishnappa) Gowtham bowling three of his overs in powerplay felt like a good idea at that moment.”
The youngster said he was keen to learn from more experienced cricketers in the team, including captain Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith. “In between overs, I just go to Ajju Bhai (Rahane), Jos (Buttler) or Smith and have a couple of words and try to understand what they think about the game because they have a lot of experience.”
Asked about his side leaking runs in the death overs, Gopal said it was part and parcel of the game and the entire bowling unit should take responsibility and lift the team.
“In this cricket (T20) you will definitely be hit for boundaries depending on the kind of overs you are bowling. Look at Jofra (Archer), he is bowling two overs in the powerplay and then bowling back in the death overs. So he is bowling hardest overs in the game,” he said.
“Jofra and fast bowlers are probably bowling the hardest overs in the match so it is understood that they will go for 6-7 runs per over, they will have bad days. It is more important that guys who are having a good day should lift the team,” Gopal said.
(With PTI Inputs)