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MS Dhoni is my childhood hero, aim to become a finisher like him: Ripal Patel

Ripal Patel, who made his IPL debut against CSK in a winning cause on Monday, said a welcome chat with MS Dhoni at the end of the contest made his day and elevated his confidence.

DC's Ripal Patel in action against CSK. (IPL)

An IPL debut against his idol Mahendra Singh Dhoni was a “fanboy” moment for young Delhi Capitals batsman Ripal Patel, who said the talismanic Chennai Super Kings skipper inspired him to pursue cricket.

The 26-year-old made his IPL debut against CSK in a winning cause on Monday. He made only 18 runs off 20 balls but the youngster said a welcome chat with Dhoni at the end of the game made his day and elevated his confidence.

“It was a different feeling altogether to see Mahi bhai behind the stumps when I took guard. It felt really good that Mahi bhai was watching me play.

“I started playing cricket watching Mahi bhai and I am looking to become a finisher like him,” Patel was quoted as saying in a release issued by his franchise DC.

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“After the game, I asked him how he finishes every match, how he thinks on the field and what goes on in his mind while chasing a score. We had a good chat and he gave me a lot of confidence.”

Asked about his emotions when he received the Delhi Capitals cap before the game, he said: “I was really happy when I received my cap from Mishy bhai (Amit Mishra). It didn’t feel like it was my first match. I felt really good going into the match. I just looked to back myself and enjoy every part of the game.”

“When I went into bat (at 71/3), we needed to score at a run-a-ball pace. I aimed to finish the match for the team. Shikhar bhai (Dhawan) told me to take my time at the crease, so I took my time and enjoyed my batting.”

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Ripal also enjoyed watching Kagiso Rabada finish the match with a boundary in the last over.

“It was very important for us to win the match. It was a crunch situation when we needed 2 runs from 3 balls. We were looking for a couple of runs and it was great to see Rabada hit a boundary.

“I was disappointed that I didn’t finish the match, but it was great that the team won and reached 20 points.”

First published on: 05-10-2021 at 14:57 IST
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