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The week began on a sour note for Dhawal Kulkarni after he wasnt named in the Mumbai Indians squad for the upcoming Champions League T20. The Mumbai pacer though did end up with some redemption at the ACA VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Monday with an inspired spell with the new-ball. Also Read: Kiwi counterpunch
The pitch might not have provided him with significant help but Kullkarni didnt need any as he got the better of the Kiwi top-order with movement in the air and off the wicket. He eventually finished with figures of 2/26 on a day that the Kiwi batsmen dominated overall. And in an interaction with the media later,the 24-year-old insisted on being ready to take the step up,having achieved a level of maturity and the challenges of bowling pace on Indian pitches. Also Read: Growing-up pangs: Star of U-19 World Cup,Unmukt Chand struggles to step up
On his new-ball burst on Monday:
It wasnt a pitch really suited for fast bowling but there was something in it early for the first few overs. And thankfully I made the most of it with the new-ball. The ball was coming out of my hand very well,and I got enough movement off the wicket to induce an edge off (Neil) Brooms bat. This is in fact the best Ive bowled since my comeback.
On bowlers of his pace dealing with flat wickets:
The pitches arent that much of a problem. At times the heat like today can get to you. But you have to be patient and stick to keeping the seam upright. I personally believe in going full-throttle whenever I am given the ball,especially with the new-ball. Its a very mental thing. You cannot think of the conditions as being obstacles and just give your fullest.
On how his career has progressed since making a momentous debut five years ago:
I havent said this before. But I am now ready for the big stage and to represent my country. I havent felt so good about my bowling during the six years since I started my first-class career. This is the best Ive bowled. Playing for India was always one of my biggest challenges,now its the only one.
On the heady heights of taking 42 wickets in his maiden season:
I had been to the MRF Pace Academy before that season. That was a life-changing experience for me. I was a mediocre bowler before that. But over there under the likes of TA Sekar is where I understood what fast bowling is. They changed my bowling action,and my run-up and made me a complete bowler. Its after that experience that I realized the hard work that goes into being a fast bowler. It changed me for good.
On developing an in-swinger:
The out-swinger has always been my major strength. Ive never really consciously worked on developing one but when Im on good rhythm I can get the ball to nip in. Its again a very mental thing. But I would obviously love to have a potent in-swinger to complement my stock-ball.
On what has been the most significant change in his bowling:
To succeed on Indian wickets,you need to have an abundance of patience. Earlier there were times when I would get a bit too desperate to take wickets. But the experience Ive gained over the last few seasons has made me a lot more mature and has helped me understand the importance of patience.