In an exclusive interview with India TV, Uttar Pradesh's Jasmer Dhankar shared his journey in cricket. The 23-year-old who took a 3-wicket haul in his debut Ranji match against Maharashtra told about his team's approach against Mumbai in the semifinal match starting on 14th June. He also shared his experience in IPL after being selected for Lucknow Super Giants.
How did your journey in cricket start? What made you interested in cricket?
My journey in cricket started long back when I was 7 years old. I started playing 'Gully Cricket' in my area. My interest in the game grew more and more and all I used to think about is the game. And I was good at the game and was sure that I had to be a cricketer.
How has the ride been so far? What were the struggles that you had to go through?
The ride has not been smooth. I had to put in all the hard work and had to stay motivated even in the lows.
I made my debut in Uttar Pradesh's Ranji team this year after waiting for two years. To get to play in such a team that has experienced players is a big achievement.
In your debut match for Uttar Pradesh, you took a 3-wicket haul, How did your captain Kuldeep Yadav react?
I felt very happy. My skipper and coach were proud of me. Before the beginning of the match, they assured me that I have their support and this helped me a lot during the game. I didn't think about the result and was focused.
Mumbai has won the title more than 40 times, what will be your approach against them in the upcoming match?
We are going to be in the present, this is all we have planned. There is no particular strategy for the semifinal or final it's just that we all aim to show our best performances.
What unique X-factor does Team Uttar Pradesh have that sets you all apart from other teams?
According to me, our team has character and belief. Even though we were criticized and underestimated before the quarterfinal match. Our bond and teamwork led us to victory against all odds.
Coming to the recently concluded IPL, how was your experience with the KL Rahul-led Lucknow Super Giants?
The experience was wonderful. I learned a lot in terms of techniques as well as life. The journey brought a big positive change in my mindset that cricket is a part of life and should be treated like that.
What did you learn from your fellow teammate Krunal Pandya?
Apart from helping me with bowling techniques, Krunal Pandya encouraged me. He said, "This year you didn't play(in IPL) but you never know where you will reach the next year." And this has been in my mind since then.
Five years down the line, where do you see yourself in your career?
I see myself playing for Team India after improving myself to a point of being settled in the team.
How do you think your dream for Team India will come true?
I keep telling myself to keep improving. I think consistency, practice, and patience will help me achieve my dream.
Do you have a mentor? Tell us more about his/her role in your cricketing journey?
My brother Joginder who is a teacher by profession is my mentor. I would like to give him credit for always backing me through thick and thin. He has encouraged me and taught me to never give up. He keeps pushing me in my lows.