On Sunday,even as the Rajasthan Royals warmed up for their match against Pune Warriors in Jaipur,there was a surprise member in the squad. Indeed bowling at a single stump alongside the likes of Shaun Tait and Shane Watson was Sumit Narwal. Two years ago when he first played for the Royals,Narwal was in best shape of his life. Unfortunately the Delhi all rounder,who was adjudged the best all-rounder by the BCCI for his Ranji Trophy exploits during the 2010-11 season,had to undergo surgery on his bowling arm in December 2011. He missed the entire Ranji season and went to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for his rehabilitation. Talking to Sportline on the sidelines of that net session he explains how he is trying to get his career back on track.
At the peak of your career,you were forced to miss an entire season due to an injury. How did you dealt with this reality?
It was a shock for me when the doctor advised me rest for my shoulder.I thought that considering I had just had a brilliant season in the Ranji Trophy,I could push myself. But it wasnt an injury that could let me play with just motivation. Once I was out of the team,I had to be patient and instead focussed on when I could return to competition. Thankfully after a forgettable six-seven months,I am able to be bowling again.
Were there times that you felt demotivated?
The good thing was that I was in London for my surgery for just ten days so I didn’t waste too much time there. Initially sitting at home and recovering was still fine but once I went to the NCA,and started with my training,there were days when I thought that why I am not playing,how will I catch up with my teammates. But I have recovered well and much before the estimated time. I am happy that I at least joined Rajastan Royals,if only in the second half of the season.
What was the rehab in NCA like?
It took me around four months to fully recover from the injury. My physio had devised a schedule in which I strengthened my shoulder progressively. Once he felt that the injury was not hindering me,he then advised me to start bowling. I haven’t started bowling too early. Before I came to Rajasthan to be with the team,I was bowling similar to my days before injury. Also before joining them for the practice session,I had played couple of matches of the DDCA league where I performed really well,got a five wicket haul and bowled according to the expectations. So I am satisfied with my performance.
What is the feeling now that you are back in the IPL fold?
The biggest motivation for me is that I have recovered on time and got to join Rajasthan Royals. It was very reassuring to me that I am fit now and need not worry about my shoulder any more. The Royals also made me bowl with the new ball and I feel I bowled well in the nets. I am raring to join my Ranji team Delhi and Royals in the IPL. However I also understand that it may be difficult to be a part of the current set up. Of course I remain hopefull that I can showcase my credentials once again.