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  5. EXCLUSIVE | I am looking forward to teaming up with Mohammed Shami and others in GT: Sushant Mishra

EXCLUSIVE | I am looking forward to teaming up with Mohammed Shami and others in GT: Sushant Mishra

Sushant hails from the same city as of legendary India cricketer MS Dhoni. He opens up on how Dhoni has been an inspiration for him, GT picking him at the IPL auction and a lot more in an exclusive chat with India TV.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Updated on: December 25, 2023 16:33 IST
Sushant Mishra
Image Source : INDIA TV Sushant Mishra

Indian Premier League (IPL) is the perfect platform for the up and coming cricketers across the world. Brilliant performances in the domestic circuit and the local T20 leagues across the country, reward the players at the IPL auction and something of similar sorts happened with the uncapped players this time around as well. Sameer Rizvi was the most expensive uncapped player getting picked by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for INR 8.4 crore.

Among uncapped players was the left-arm pace bowler from Jharkhand Sushant Mishra who was snapped up by the IPL 2022 champions Gujarat Titans for a decent amount of INR 2.2 crore. His base price was INR 20 lakh and right from the word go, Mumbai Indians and GT were involved in an intense bidding war to secure his services before the latter side managed to get him.

For the unversed, Sushant was part of India U19 World Cup squad in 2020 that made it to the final of the tournament. He is one of the better performers for the team in the competition and has since then, shined in various tournaments including featuring for Jharkhand in 7 first-class, 10 List A and 4 T20 matches. 

India TV caught up with him after a memorable IPL payday and Sushant Mishra shared the insights of how crucial for him getting picked at the auction was, MS Dhoni being a constant inspiration, his decision to become a bowler and a lot more in an exclusive chat with us.

Here are the excerpts:

1. Did you expect Gujarat Titans to bid for you at the auction? You attended trials for them or any other team in auction as MI also were bidding for you? How did you feel after being picked for 2.2 crore in the end?

Sushant: I felt very nice as MI and GT both were trying to pick me. I never wanted any specific team to pick me. I just wanted to get picked at the auction. Now that, I am with the Gujarat Titans, I will give my best for them.

2. Now let's go back a bit talking about your journey towards cricket. How did it all start?

Sushant: It all started with me playing in locality, in my colony. When India won the World Cup in 2011, I was so happy that I convinced my father to get me admitted into a cricket academy. This is when my journey towards cricket started.

3. Being from Jharkhand, there is one name that always comes to mind - MS Dhoni. You also belong from there - How has Dhoni inspired you throughout your career?

Sushant: We get inspired only by looking at him. The fact that he belongs to the same city as me, then it is even more inspiring and a huge thing for me. I first met him after playing the U19 World Cup. I bowled him in the nets during a practice session.

4. Generally, we have seen many big stars in Indian cricket being batsmen. Wasn't it tempting to take bat in hand and train? What or who inspired you to become a bowler?

Sushant: In the academy, everyone wanted to become batsmen. But when I reached the academy, my bowling seemed pretty natural to my coach Shashikant Pathak Sir. He insisted me to become a bowler and here I am today.

5. You played U19 World Cup 2020 where India played the final. Rahul Dravid was the coach at that time - Tell us a bit about your experience of working with him.

Sushant: The experience of working with Dravid sir was very nice. We enjoyed and learnt a lot as well. He used to tell us a lot about mental aspect of the game as well.

6. You were net bowler for RCB for a couple of seasons - Did you get a chance to bowl at players like Virat Kohli, De Villiers - Any kind of suggestion from any of the players that has got stuck in your mind?

Sushant: The likes of Dale Steyn, Umesh Yadav among others were part of RCB then so I felt very nice being part of the camp at that time. So I learnt quite a few things from them too and it helped me a lot.

7. Coming back to your recent acquisition from GT, Shami is part of the squad or even the coach Ashish Nehra was a left-arm pacer. How much do you think will positively affect your career?

Sushant: I am looking forward to teaming up with both Mohammed Shami and Ashish Nehra  at the Gujarat Titans. Both are extremely good fast bowlers and excited to learn a lot of things from them. As for communication, our captain Shubman Gill had messaged - 'Welcome to the team. Looking forward to see you soon' - so felt nice after that.

8. Being a fast bowler, a player tends to get injured, even you must have got injured. How do you cope up with this tough time. How do you stay motivated?

Sushant: Injuries are part and parcel of life. I don't get demotivated much by that. I just wait for the next opportunity after I get fit.

9. Who was your favourite fast bowler growing up, someone you always wanted to emulate?

Sushant: Zaheer Khan was my favourite fast bowler growing up and now Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami bhai are two of my favourites as well.

10. If you get a chance to make your IPL debut next year, which batter would you like to dismiss first up?

Sushant: Playing in IPL is like a dream in itself. So, picking any batter's wicket would be a dream wicket for me as a lot of top players feature in the IPL.

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