Aniket Choudhary,the 23-year-old pacer from Rajasthan,will make his IPL debut for Kings XI Punjab.
Aniket Choudhary signalled his arrival on the scene with an impressive performance for Rajasthan in the last Ranji season,raking up 25 wickets in nine matches and finished as the third most successful bowler for his team behind Pankaj Singh and Rituraj Singh. His success story was noticed by all and it was Kings XI Punjab who signed the left-arm medium pacer whereAniket will make his debut in Indian Premier League. For someone,who was struggling to rise above district-level cricket in Rajasthan,he surely has come a long way. Aniket,23,was among of the 12 pacers selected by the BCCI for a camp to develop India’s pace bowling reserve.
Speaking to Sportline,Aniket talks about making his debut in IPL,domestic season,competing with other rising pacers like Sandeep Sharma,the advantage of being a left-arm bowler,working with experienced stalwarts like Adam Gilchrist and Darren Lehmann and his dream of playing for India.
You will be making your IPL debut this year. How excited are you and what goals have you set for yourself?
I am very excited and it is a big opportunity for me to have got the chance to play for Kings XI Punjab. Since this is my first IPL season,I am not looking for a fairy script. I will definitely try to do well for the team but I am not expecting to go out and take lots of wickets; rather my target is to prove that I am a good bowler,that I belong here.
You had a good domestic season and you bowled well for Rajasthan especially in the match against Punjab at the PCA Stadium? You will play IPL matches here. Is the Mohali pitch to your liking?
It is definitely to my liking. The pitch assists fast bowlers a lot and there is variation as there is lot of swing and movement in the pitch. It will be very helpful for me. I bowled well in the Ranji match against Punjab and that experience will surely help me when if I get a chance to bowl here in any IPL match.
Kings XI Punjab has also signed Sandeep Sharma who was one of the top wicket takers in last Ranji season. So,how will be the competition between the two of you?
Sandeep bowled really well and he was a stand-out performer for Punjab. He should be rewarded for that. As far as competing for a place in the team is concerned,I just want to keep focus on myself and keep working hard,which I am doing at the moment. It is a good thing that there is healthy competition between the bowlers to prove themselves. It will bring out the best in us. Also,it is very helpful to have experienced bowlers like Praveen Kumar,Manpreet Gony and Azhar Mahmood in your ranks. These bowlers bring so much with themselves and you get the chance to learn a lot from them.
Since you are a left-arm pacer,it might work as an advantage for you as Punjab don’t have any left-arm bowler and the team management might want to put some variation in the bowling attack?
Absolutely. I think that I am the lone left-arm medium pacer in the team and if the team management ask me to bowl,I would be more than happy. I am working hard on my game to keep myself ready for the challenge. IPL is all about scoring runs and the slam-bang format surely put bowlers under lot of pressure. The new ball swings a lot,so I am working on reverse swing,yorker and slow bouncers. Yorker has been one of the most low scoring balls in the history of the game and I am working hard to get it right during the practice sessions. If one has a good yorker,one does not need any other variation.
Kings XI Punjab have two experienced and successful campaigners in the form of captain Adam Gilchrist and coach Darren Lehmann. How is it to have them in the team and how have they helped you in improving your game?
They will never tell you to change your game. In fact,they will tell you to enhance the skills which you already have. So,it is very motivating when such a top player like Gilchrist tell you these things. It has a positive effect on the team and everybody follow whatever he says.
A good outing in the IPL can open new door
IPL is at the international level. if one bowls well,then one will definitely get a chance to play for the national team. It is a good platform to show what one has got. You come into the limelight and opportunities come your way. You just need to make it count.