Rajasthan Royals (RR) left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya believes that his side has a good chance of making it to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, when the remainder of the cash-rich tournament begins on September 19 in UAE.
Notably, RR is currently placed at the fifth spot in the IPL points-table ahead.
“I think whichever matches we won were extraordinary matches like we were able to achieve the unachievable targets. And whichever matches we lost, were close matches except the RCB one. Therefore, I just want to focus on doing well for my team because I know that if I’m able to contribute, we will be able to win and hopefully make it to the playoffs,” said Sakariya.
Sakariya, who was acquired by the RR for Rs 1.2 crore, impressed everyone with his bowling during the first leg of the tournament as he had scalped seven wickets from as many games.
“When I was picked up by Rajasthan Royals, the only thing running in my mind was that they have shown so much faith in me, I wanted to make sure that I was performing well and helping the team win. I think I did a decent job whenever I was given the responsibility,” Sakariya said from his home town Bhavnagar.
“Then to make it to the Indian team, it has been a dream come true. When I first heard of it, there were a lot of thoughts in my head, but I was unable to believe it. I pinched myself because I was wondering if it was even true. I didn’t think of it in a way that I would get to play or not, just being a part of that dressing room was a huge moment for me,” he added.
Sakariya, 23, was accompanied by Royals’ captain Sanju Samson during their recent tour of Sri Lanka.
He recalled a previous incident saying: “When we were at RR earlier this year and I had played a few matches, we were in the nets talking about how I could get my pace up, but Sanju bhai called me and said, ‘You’re doing well and are unique because you have the swing, so you should try to bowl fast but make sure that it doesn’t affect your ability to swing the ball. Remember my words when I sa’ that you’ll play for India very soon.’ So, as soon as I got selected for India and we met in Sri Lanka, he made me remember that day and asked me to keep focusing on the right things, and wished me well. So that was really nice of him.”
Speaking on his coach during Sri Lanka Tour – Rahul Dravid, he said: “After having completed a two-week quarantine in Sri Lanka, we had a get-together and everyone was either working out or stretching outdoors, and I was taking a rest near the poolside when Rahul sir came up to me and said, ‘Hi Chetan, Rahul here.’ I was shocked and startled at first because I couldn’t believe that it was really him, but I stoo‘ up and said ‘hi’ to him.”
“I introduced myself and he asked me about my family background, playing experience, etc. He also asked about cricket in Saurashtra and how we’ve been doing well in the last five years, and complimented me for my bowling, and said he had followed my journey during the IPL, and that he liked how I bowled with the new and the old ball,” he added.
:So, it felt amazing that a legend like him knew who I was and was following my performances,” Sakariya concluded.