Star IPL player opens about the benefits of IPL

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IPL 2018 | Ish Sodhi feels IPL is improving cricket at a very fast rate

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SportsCafe Desk

05/04/2018

Kiwi leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who got an IPL call-up just a few weeks back, feels that Indian Premier League is a fast-moving competition and is improving cricket at a very rapid rate. He described the cash-rich league’s experience as ‘surreal’ and wanted to learn as much as he can from Shane Warne.

Ish  Sodhi, who has his roots from India, has enjoyed quite a bit success in the 20-over format of the game. Sodhi moved to Auckland at a very young age from a small town called Khanna, which is 45 kms away from Ludhiana and made his debut for New Zealand in 2013 in Tests, but didn’t quite get going in the longest format of the game.

He made his T20I debut for New Zealand in 2014 and since then, has taken 36 wickets at an average of less than 20 and at an economy rate below 8. Due to success in the format, he was also No. 1 T20I bowler in the world for a brief period, but that couldn't translate to an IPL contract in the beginning. However, he got a surprise call-up from Rajasthan Royals just a few weeks back and now stated that before IPL call, he was just planning about his off-season. 

“A surprise call-up is a good way to put it. It was just a week into the off-season and I had just got free after playing some Test cricket, planning on how I was going to improve. Then this opportunity to play for Rajasthan Royals came around, took about week from the phone call and me being here. It’s been a blur for me so far, playing against my national captain (Kane Williamson), it’s been a surreal experience so far,” says Ish Sodhi

“The dynamics of the IPL is a bit different — four foreign players in each side, about eight per squad — which makes it unique. The marketing and the hype around it is extreme. The skill level is also improving every year — batters are hitting more sixes and bowlers are bringing in more variations. It’s a fast-moving competition, improving cricket at a very fast rate. Youngsters like Prithvi Shaw are playing incredible shots at 18-19 years of age,” says Sodhi. 

Shane Warne, who is world’s greatest leg-spinner, has been a mentor of Rajasthan for quite a while now and Ish Sodhi revealed that he has been trying to pick the brains of the maestro and Warne has helped him a lot.   

“He’s the greatest legspinner the game has seen. I am trying to pick his brains as much as I can. I think it’s balancing that with what I want to do with my own bowling — whether it is this tournament or improving myself in the future. I just need to keep getting better. Rubbing shoulders with Shane Warne is always going to be great!,” said Kiwi leg-spinner.  

Sodhi gave importance to planning and doing homework before the game and felt that he has improved a lot as a bowler. 

“In the T20 format, it is the balance of defence with attack and finding the right lines to bowl to different players as well as doing more homework. You have to shut down one side of the field and in T20s I can do that quite well. I am only 25 years old, but as I have progressed I have got a lot more control over my bowling,” he said. 

Over the years leg-spin bowlers’ importance has increased in T20 cricket because of their wicket-taking ability. Leg-spinners have occupied most of the spots in the T20 bowlers’ ranking as well, which proves their dominance in the game. Sodhi felt that the dimensions of the game have changed a lot and more focus has been laid on taking wickets now-a-days.  

“In this day and age, T20 is a batsman’s game and people are starting to understand that picking wickets is really crucial. I think that’s why captains are starting to back their wrist spinners more and more. They are happy to let go 8, 9 or 10 an over if they are able to pick up two or three wickets. That acceptance has come that captains are prepared to leak runs as long as they can get wickets in the middle overs,” he said. 

Talking about taking a break and visiting his family in India, he added, “We had a few days break and used 2-3 days break to go to Punjab and meet some of my relatives like my grandmother, aunts, and uncles. I visited Ludhiana, it was a nice change. Two days to get away from the grind of cricket and spend some quality time your family.”

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