Indian left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya has revealed that it was an amazing moment for him when Indian legend Rahul Dravid praised his bowling performances during the Sri Lanka tour. He also added that it was a dream for him to play for the Men in Blue and found it hard to believe he was selected.
Rahul Dravid is one of the most respected cricketers in the world. The Indian legend has been working with the junior Indian sides after his retirement and was also an integral part of the NCA as the head of cricket in Bangalore. Last month, he was appointed as India's interim head coach for the tour of Sri Lanka in the absence of Ravi Shastri, as India's regular head coach was in England with the main team. It resulted in the debut of several players in both ODIs and T20Is.
The fringe players not only got a chance to throw their hat in the ring for the T20 World Cup, to be played later this year but also rubbed shoulders with Rahul Dravid. The tour also witnessed the ODI and T20I debut of Chetan Sakariya. After an impressive IPL 2021, he did a good job in Sri Lanka too. Speaking on the experience of interacting with Dravid, the young pacer stated that it was amazing to converse with him and it felt great when he praised his bowling displays.
“After completing the mandatory two-week quarantine in Sri Lanka, we had a get-together. 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 stood up and said ‘hi’ to him.
“I introduced myself and he asked me about my family background, playing experience. 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 he liked how I bowled with the new and the old ball. So, it felt amazing that a legend like him knew who I was and was following my performances,” Sakariya said in a release shared by his IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, reported HT.
The Saurashtra pacer brings the variety of a left-arm bowler. He had taken seven wickets in as many games in this year's curtailed IPL at an ER of 8.22. He was impressive with the new ball and also did well at the death, all of which led to his maiden call-up for the Indian team. Sakariya stated that it was a dream come true for him to play for the Men in Blue.
“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,” said Chetan Sakariya.
Sakariya has been through a lot of struggles and revealed that all his ups and downs had come flashing in his head as he was about to deliver his first ball.
“When I was preparing to bowl that first ball, I had a couple of minutes to go through marking my run-up, warming up, in that moment, I could see a flashback of everything that had unfolded in my life the good, the bad, the sacrifices, the support, the criticism everything,” he said.