NEW DELHI: Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi had a dream run in the just concluded U-19 World Cup in South Africa as he finished with 17 wickets -- the highest in the 2020 edition and also the most by an Indian in the tournament. But for Bishnoi, it is now time to look forward to the time he will get to spend with the legendary Anil Kumble during the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Speaking to IANS, Bishnoi made no bones about the fact that he will look to spend as much time as possible during the cash-rich league around Kumble and fine tune his game further.
"I am very excited that I will get to spend quality time with none other than Anil Kumble Sir during the IPL and my only lookout is to pick his brain and learn as much as I can. I will look to stay around him and work on the finer areas of my bowling under his guidance," he smiled.
While Bishnoi finished as the highest wicket-taker in the tournament and also earned a place in the ICC team of the 2020 U-19 World Cup, the leg-spinner says that winning games for India was his sole motive when he took the field in South Africa.
"I wasn't there for records. My aim was to win my team games and ultimately come back with the trophy. It was always on my mind that every time I take the field, I should contribute in a manner that we come out triumphant at the end of the game," he pointed.
So does that make it disappointing that the team failed to cross the final hurdle against Bangladesh? "A little disappointed would be an understatement and it will always stay with me that we couldn't pass the final test. We did well right through, but winning the final would have been the perfect way to end," he said.
The final also saw players from both sides losing their calm and Bishnoi was among the five players who were sanctioned by the ICC for their conduct after the game. But he doesn't wish to talk about what happened in the heat of the moment.
"I would really not wish to comment on that. Whatever happened is in the past and I don't wish to get into that," he said.
Moving on, it is time for the IPL in around 45 days and Bishnoi says that it will be an important platform to impress the selectors.
"The U-19 World Cup as well as the Indian Premier League are two very important platforms for any budding cricketer. These are the tournaments wherein your performances get highlighted and the selectors take note, so I will definitely look to give it my best because at the end of the day, we all dream of playing for the Indian team. Every time I get an opportunity, I will look to give it my 100 per cent," he smiled.
Asked if he is also looking to work on his batting as teams these days need all-round cricketers, Bishnoi said that he is already working on his game with bat in hand.
"You cannot stop yourself at being just a bowler or a batsman. In today's day and age you need to be multi-dimensional and I am looking at just that as I am already working on my batting and wish to turn into a handy bat as well," he signed off.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)