Kings XI Punjab’s spinning prodigy Ravi Bishnoi has been a revelation this season after his exploits in the U-19 World Cup earlier this year in South Africa. While his rise was expected by many experts, but his confidence in a big tournament like Indian Premier League from the word go has been palpable.
The 20-year-old wrist spinner has already scalped four wickets in two games at an impressive average of 13.50 and could be soon among the purple cap holders in the competition.
Team’s skipper KL Rahul acknowledged at the post-match presentation that for a under-19 crickter, he has exuded a lot of confidence while showing eagerness to be in the middle of the action.
“I watched the U-19 World Cup. He has a lot of fight in him. He's always ready when I throw the ball. He wants to get into the contest,” said Rahul.
And the shades of that confidence was visible during the post-match press conference when Bishnoi was asked how he feels when he faces the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and other big stars at such a grand stage. The tweaker was quick to respond that he feels he is at the same skill set level as them.
“Since we had a long camp before the IPL, I was preparing myself mentally as skill level is the same for everyone here. So being mentally strong and brave was my main focus. I told myself not to give up lose deliveries which would allow them to attack me,” said the confident young man.
While one wonders if presence of a mentor like Anil Kumble as head coach has any bearing on his confidence, Ravi stated that ‘Anil sir’ has backed his abilities all the time.
“Anil sir has always asked me to back strength in my bowling and skill. He asked me not to try too many things and try to be cool and calm in the middle,” he reasoned.
While KXIP enjoyed a 97-run win over Virat Kohli’s RCB on Thursday as KL Rahul’s blitzkrieg powered them to 206, Ravi said the team went into the second ininngs thinking they must not let RCB go past 180.
“Our plan was to get them out as quickly as possible. We were not thinking that 200 is a target so we will be cautious, we went in thinking, we won’t concede more than 180 and how to get them all out before they could reach that,” he said.