With ten wickets in the five IPL matches he has played for the KXIP in the seventh edition so far, seamer Sandeep Sharma has impressed with a fine display of swing bowling. In an exclusive interaction with indianexpress.com, the 20-year-old talks about Chris Gayle’s wicket, how he plans to bowl against attacking batsmen and more. Excerpts:
Q: What is your take on your personal form in the seventh edition so far?
A: It has been good in the matches I have played so far. I am backing my strength – which is to swing the ball – and luckily I am getting the desired results. I am happy but want to carry on with the form and the way I am bowling at the moment.
Q: Was it a conscious decision to pay more attention to swing since your physique won’t allow you to generate express pace?
A: I am not a born fast bowler. One has to find ways to be successful. I don’t agree that your physique has to be good to bowl fast. I am working on my pace. I was bowling around 125 kmph last year but now I am consistently hitting the 130 mark. My pace has increased and I will continue to work in this direction. My pace will definitely increase as I have age on my side. The bones and muscles will only get stronger. In my interactions with the coaches, I have learnt that no matter how good the batsman is, he will struggle against the swinging ball. Even my captain George Bailey said this. So if the ball is swinging nicely, the batsman will find it hard to hit.
Q: Are you worried that working too much on pace might affect your potent weapon – swing?
A: You must have seen Dale Steyn bowl with the new ball. When he operates with the new ball, he bowls around 135-137 and as it gets older he picks up speed. So it depends on bowlers, and they know to swing the ball one has to compromise a bit on pace. Even if I increase pace, I will continue to bowl at the same pace with the new ball. It is with the old ball that I will look to get extra yards because the ball doesn’t swing and one has to get the yorkers and bouncers right at that stage.
Q: Since your early days, you have always been a force with the new ball. Are you doing anything different with the old ball to have all bases covered?
A: I have been working a lot with the old ball and practising yorkers, slower balls and cutters. I haven’t got a chance to bowl with the old ball yet. So I have worked continued…