Kings XI Punjab had to settle for a harsh loss against Delhi Capitals after the ‘short-run blunder’ made by the umpire on Sunday night which resulted in the Indian Premier League tie going into the super over.
However, the franchise had some positives to take from the match including an impressive debut by India under-19 star Ravi Bishnoi.
With established tweakers like Krishnappa Gowtham, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Murugan Ashwin ahead of him, there was a hint of doubt if the young Turk will find his name in the starting XI.
However, finishing his four-over spell by squandering just 22 runs and a big wicket at a crucial juncture of the match, the leggie justified his selection with a mix of variation in his bowling. Interestingly Bishnoi’s spell was also loudly applauded by spin legend and KXIP head coach Anil Kumble from the dugout, suggesting a lot about how the sensational youngster found his way into the XI.
While bowling economy remains a crucial aspect in T20 cricket, the highlight of his spell was certainly the way he bowled out team India star Rishabh Pant, who was building a big partnership with captain Shreyas Iyer at that time.
Speaking to Kings XI Punjab website after the match, Bishnoi said he had no special strategy in mind agianst the flamboyant batsman, who is known for playing well against spinners.
“Bowling against Pant, there was no set plan or strategy in place, I just kept sticking to the basics, didn’t try another out of the box. Just kept bowling how I normally would,” he said.
The 20-year-old wrist-spinner further said that he wanted to keep the batsman second guessing him with a range of variations the youngster has in his arsenal.
“The idea is to try and play with the mind of the batsman, deceive him with my variations. I don’t want to give the batsman what he expects. If I start off with two-three leg breaks, then the batsman is ready for those types of deliveries, that’s when I bowl the googly,” he explained.
When asked if he had any debut game jitters, Bishnoi admitted that he felt every bit of it.
“I was a bit nervous in the beginning, but it was more excitement than nervousness for me to make my debut. I just wanted to do well and help my team win,” he concluded.