My favourite IPL moment has to be the Deccan Chargers nets session with Kumar Sangakkara in 2012. It was the first time I got picked to represent an Indian Premier League team and was very excited to represent DC.
My time with the team, especially the early days, was something I will never forget. I was surrounded by some great players in the squad like Kumar Sangakkara, Dale Steyn and J.P. Duminy, to name a few. They were not only established names but already world-class players at the time. To be able to share the dressing room with them and learn from them was simply exciting and overwhelming.
‘What really stood out for me was Kumar’s work ethic and the determination to get things right . It’s one thing to be a world-class player but it doesn’t come easy. There’s an incredible amount of time and effort great players put into their game.’
I remember the time we were training and it was during the day. I was just watching Kumar bat. He batted and batted. I watched him train and I was mesmerized to see the master at work. Towards the end of the practice session, I saw Kumar go back to the net to take part in some wicket-keeping drills. Even with the gloves on, he kept going on and on.
He was the last person to come out. That particular session had a huge influence on me as it motivated me to work hard.
What really stood out for me was Kumar’s work ethic and the determination to get things right . It’s one thing to be a world-class player but it doesn’t come easy. There’s an incredible amount of time and effort great players put into their game.
I also saw Dale master his skills. He wasn’t just spot bowling but just running in over and over again to get it right. JP Duminy, as well, was perfecting very small aspects of his batting to get game ready. I had numerous conversations with him and he would always guide me. Just to hear him talk about minute details and how players of his stature pay attention to the smallest of details and don’t leave anything to chance was very moving.
My learning? To become a great player, one has to put in the extra yards and do it continuously over a long period of time. When one sees such players put in so much work, they understand why the players are where they are in their careers.
As told to Shivansh Gupta
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